Facing the Hunter

Facing the Hunter

Reflections on A Misunderstood Pursuit

Book - 2011
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David Adams Richards takes us behind his gun and into the Canadian forest for his most powerful work of non-fiction yet.

In his brilliant non-fiction, David Adams Richards - first and foremost one of Canada's greatest and best-beloved novelists - has been writing a kind of memoir by other means. Like his previous titles Lines On Water , about his pursuit of angling, and Hockey Dreams , about the game his disabled body prevented him from playing, Facing the Hunter explores the meaning of a sport and the way in which it touches lives, not least that of the author. And as with God Is, his recent book about his faith, it is also an impassioned defence of a set of values and a way of life that Richards believes are under attack.

Lovers of David Adams Richards' novels will be fascinated and enlightened to note the interplay between his former life as a keen hunter - he hunts less and less these days, as he explains - and the narratives and characters of his fiction. But this is also a perfect starting point for anyone coming new to Richards. The storytelling in this book, the evocation of the Canadian wild and those who venture into it, the sheer power of the prose, show a great writer at the height of his powers.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, 2011
ISBN: 9780385259187
Branch Call Number: 799.2971 RIC NVD
Characteristics: 213 p. ; 22 cm

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anagancereader May 15, 2013

A real page turner. This is a delightful book and tells the tale of what it is like to be at the end of your hunting days. Told in a way that only a true hunter would fully understand. I rate this a 5 star!

b
bookworm1387
Apr 02, 2012

A beautiful book. David Adams Richards writes masterpieces, sometimes with flaws, but masterpieces nevertheless. His powerful and often raw novels will haunt you, but some readers may find them very depressing. Reading his non-fiction is the key to understanding the hope behind the novels. With bitter-sweet humour throughout, “Facing the Hunter” is a very entertaining personal account of hunting in Richard’s native New Brunswick. I particularly liked the passage about the stag defending the doe from the coyotes: "he didn’t leave his poncho hanging on a hook”. Having been a city slicker all my life (and anti-hunting), I now see that Canadian urbanites can all benefit from understanding the lives of rural people in this country. No other author can do this as vividly! If you are seeking a good introduction to David Adams Richards' writing, try the following pairings of his non-fiction and fiction:
"Facing the Hunter" followed by "Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul"
"God Is" followed by "The Friends of Meager Fortune" and “Mercy amoung the Children”

debwalker Jan 07, 2012

"Melancholy, joyful, hard-won wisdom on hunting, his love of the animals and the people who hunt them and the endangered, magnificent habitat of the Miramichi Valley. That is the genius of this book. Every ecosystem in this country should have defenders as eloquent and wise as David Adams Richards".

David Carpenter
Globe and Mail

Cdnbookworm Dec 03, 2011

This book is a reflection on hunting, from a man who has hunted since he was a child, and who still hunts. Richards looks at the way of life he grew up with and that the people he knows well grew up with and pulls back the curtain on that for the rest of us. He talks about the current popular stance against hunting and the perceptions of hunting that the people who take that stance have. He talks about those who give hunting a bad name.
I grew up in a family where my father hunted occasionally and I remember taking moosemeat sandwiches to school. I remember fishing when I was young and how my father taught me to kill the fish quickly to limit its suffering. Richards also talks about respecting the animals, about the responsibility the hunter has to injured animals and about trusting your feelings about what feels right.
This is a very open, honest look at a behaviour (occupation? pastime? I'm not sure of the right word, but I know it isn't sport) that has a bad rap, and not reasons that reflect the hunting that many people in our country do. Many people hunt for food, and as a way of life that is involved with nature in a very true sense. This is a book that creates discussions and that is always a good thing.

s
Sandee
Nov 08, 2011

A very good read.

This book is similar to "Lines in the Water", only the stories and insights are told/shared around hunting rather than fly fishing. So it is about much more than hunting. It is about "the old days" and being in the back woods (of New Brunswick) in the fall. And it includes lots of stories (and lessons learned) about the good parts (and some of the not so good parts) of human nature, all told as only David Adams Richards can.

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