Tom O'Reilly - The Spirit of the Pond

Little Egret Press £23.95
ISBN 978-0333649329

The dust jacket describes The Spirit of the Pond as "beautifully illustrated, lyrical, evocative and touching". If twee is your thing, this is a nice book. Unfortunately, the niceness and the author’s wonderful illustrations weren’t quite enough to rescue my spirit, and I nearly gave up when I came to the chapter on poaching. O’Reilly’s attempt to square the romantic notion that ‘fish that belong to no man’ doesn’t quite match my experience of the hard men who poison fisheries on dark nights and beat bailiffs senseless before dumping them at the waterside, not is it even vaguely in accordance with the law.

The author pays tribute to Richard Walker, Fred Taylor, Bernard Venables and “BB,” but although their shadows stalk through the pages, The Spirit of the Pond is just a little too self-conscious for my taste. Tom, who runs The Little Egret Press, reprinted the book in 2007 with a new foreword - although both editions are out of print, copies are available in the Amazon marketplace at around the original cover price.



Out of print