From The Wall Street Journal:
In columns for Field & Stream, as well as essays for the Washington Post and other publications, Bill Heavey has offered himself as a poster boy for personal incompetence. Mr. Heavey is an avid hunter and fisherman, although, as he tells it, not an especially good one.
. . . .
In mining his mediocrity for material, Mr. Heavey has risked the chance that his outdoor skills might improve, depriving him of fresh inspiration. But as “Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?” makes clear, Mr. Heavey has continued to elude excellence with rod and gun as consistently as the fish and game that slip away from him, time and again.
“My fly-fishing skill peaked about twenty years ago,” he confesses. “Since then, a graph of my improvement closely resembles that of Abraham Lincoln’s pulse.” He does no better with deer, failing to bag a buck so grand that “he looked like a small cow with no neck and half a picket fence on his head.”
Readers don’t have to hunt or fish to appreciate Mr. Heavey’s essays, which are more broadly about the bruising limits of middle age. With middle age comes liberation, too—the increasing freedom to defy convention without embarrassment. In the book’s funniest essay, “What the Horse Saw,” Mr. Heavey takes the advice of a fellow outdoorsman and wears pantyhose to avoid chafing during a horseback ride. “I’m strongly opposed to physical discomfort,” he writes. “If the choice is between five hours of pain and feeling silly, my priorities are clear.”
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal
Here’s a link to Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?