Four Thousand Hooks
A True Story of Fishing and Coming of Age on the High Seas of Alaska
- Published: October 2012
- Subject Listing: Memoir, Northwest History
- Bibliographic information: 280 pp., 1 map, 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: World
As Four Thousand Hooks opens, an Alaskan fishing schooner is sinking. It is the summer of 1972, and the sixteen-year-old narrator is at the helm. Backtracking from the gripping prologue, Dean Adams tells how he came to be a crew member on the Grant and unfolds a tale of adventure that reads like a novel - with drama, conflict, and resonant portrayals of halibut fishing, his ragtag shipmates, maritime Alaska, and the ambiguities of family life.
At sea, the Grant's crew teach Dean the daily tasks of baiting thousands of longline hooks and handling the catch, and on shore they lead him through the seedy bars and guilty pleasures of Kodiak. Exhausted by twenty-hour workdays and awed by the ocean's raw power, he observes examples of human courage and vulnerability and emerges with a deeper knowledge of himself and the world.
Four Thousand Hooks is both an absorbing adventure tale and a rich ethnography of a way of life and work that has sustained Northwest families for generations. This coming of age story will appeal to readers-including young adults-interested in ocean adventures, commercial fishing, maritime life, and the Northwest Coast.
Dean Adams went on to become the captain of his own fishing boat and to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington. He and his family live in Seattle and Kerikeri, New Zealand.
"I relived my own past reading Four Thousand Hooks. The way Adams described seeing things for the first time through the eyes of a greenhorn crew member - the sights and smells, what it's like to really feel work and exhaustion, being on your own as a young man in Alaska - brought back memories I didn't know I had." -Sig Hansen, Captain of the Northwestern as seen on Deadliest Catch
"Gritty but literate, this book has the slap-dash of real boat experience. Four Thousand Hooks never loses its salt. It's about an 'inbreaker' ready to take it all as it comes-fish slime, full hold, and hopefully a payday." -William McCloskey, author of Highliners
"A real-life account of a young man's first season working as a crew member on his uncle's commercial fishing boat in the 1970s. Adams tells of the drunken shore leave, the surprising gentleness and understanding between crew members, and the rough but careful teaching of any new crew member to be part of a team upon which one sometimes had to depend for one's survival." - Margaret Willson, author of Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Brazil and Beyond
Visit the author's website: http://www.fourthousandhooks.com/