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Lords of the Fly: Madness, Obsession, and the Hunt for the World Record Tarpon Hardcover – Illustrated, September 1, 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 509 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating deep-dive...Burke's writing is vivid and lyrical." -- Publishers Weeklystarred review
 
"I cannot recommend this book enough--the writing is breathtaking. Monte Burke has written a masterpiece." -- Wright Thompson, ESPN senior writer and author of Pappyland 

"What Susan Orlean accomplished for the strange, hermetic world of orchid hunting in her 1998 classic, 'The Orchid Thief,' Monte Burke does for another strange, hermetic world in his wonderful 'Lords of the Fly'...a lush, panoramic book." -- The Wall Street Journal
 
"The best—and juiciest—fishing book I've ever read." -- Tom Rosenbauer, author of The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide

"This is a story of the obsessed, unhinged, and often brilliant dreamers who chase giant tarpon--a primeval fish with breathtaking glamour and ungodly strength. The thrill of hooking one on a fly rod is impossible to exaggerate, so you can believe every word of Monte Burke's funny, wistful, wonderful book. He's clearly as sick as the rest of us." 
-- Carl Hiaasen
 
"I distinctly remember the first tarpon I hooked. After about a half-dozen leaps that would leave an audience at Sea World slack-jawed, I looked up at the end of my fly rod bent against the horizon and thought: 'Good God, I've got a dinosaur on a stick!' A tarpon is one of the greatest creatures in the sea. Lords of the Fly gets to the heart of why. You will love this book." 
-- Michael Keaton
 
"The stories in Lords of the Fly are about tarpon, and they're great ones: flashy, brawny, and electrifying, just like the tarpon itself...The angling stories are epic...but Burke keeps equal focus on the human element: the rivalries, foibles, and in some cases the Ahab-esque pathologies of the anglers themselves."-- Garden & Gun magazine
 
"Burke constructs the rise and fall of this unique fishing tale with impressive narrative control and an obvious reverence for its vivid characters...Ably captures the swagger, attitudes, and angling derring-do of a golden age of fishing history." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Monte Burke is a superb researcher with an ear for lyricism that does not degrade into poetic gobbledygook. The story he weaves makes Lords of the Fly the most compelling non-fiction book I've read in years." 
-- Randy Wayne White, former fishing guide and author of the Doc Ford series novels

"Finally, a book about tarpon and the obsessed anglers who pursue them that's as spirited and majestic as the fish themselves. Through extensive reporting and writing that shimmers like a Florida flat, Burke puts the reader in the boat, on the fly rod, and at the marina bar with the legends of the fishery. You'll be hooked from the first sentence." 
-- David DiBenedetto, editor in chief, Garden & Gun and author of On the Run: An Angler's Journey Down the Striper Coast

"In Monte Burke's Lords of the Fly we are treated to an exquisitely detailed portrait of tarpon, its mysterious habits, its place in history, in art, in Biblical lore. But it is the fish's extraordinary fusion of power and speed and its prehistoric majesty and its ferocious fight that attracted a flamboyant cast of characters who shared the obsessive drive to land a world record tarpon or simply to have one of those high-flying monsters on the end of their fly line. In witty and muscular prose, Burke ties together these disparate elements as neatly and beguilingly as a well-crafted tarpon fly."
-- James W. Hall, author of the Thorn series

About the Author

I am the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Saban: The Making of a Coach," a biography of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban. I'm also the author of "4TH And Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream," which won an Axiom Award for biography, and "Sowbelly: The Obsessive Quest for the World Record Largemouth Bass," which was named one of the best books of the year by Sports Illustrated and Amazon, and was chosen for Barnes & Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" program. After a 14-year stint as a reporter, staff writer and editor at Forbes, I am now a contributing editor at the magazine. I'm also a contributing editor at Garden & Gun and The Drake. You can reach me via Twitter @monteburke, or through monteburke.com.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pegasus Books; Illustrated edition (September 1, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643135589
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643135588
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 509 ratings

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I am the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Saban: The Making of a Coach," a biography of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban. I'm also the author of “4TH And Goal: One Man’s Quest to Recapture His Dream," which won an Axiom Award, and “Sowbelly: The Obsessive Quest for the World Record Largemouth Bass," which was named one of the best books of the year by Sports Illustrated and Amazon, and was chosen for Barnes & Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" program. After a 14-year stint as a reporter, staff writer and editor at Forbes, I am now a contributing editor at the magazine. I'm also a contributing editor at Garden & Gun and The Drake. You can reach me via Twitter @monteburke, or through monteburke.com.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
509 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Julian Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Tarpon Cowboys!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Tarpon Cowboys!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2021
Long live the king!
Seriously good Book!
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Andyman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any passionate angler.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2021
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SM
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for historical perspective of tarpon fishing in Florida
Reviewed in Canada on January 31, 2021
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