Lamar Underwood is the former editor-in-chief of Sports Afield and Outdoor Life and is presently the editorial director of the Outdoor Magazine Group of Harris Publications in New York. Underwood has edited a number of books including The Quotable Solider, Whitetail Tactics of the Pros, Bowhunting Tactics of the Pros, and Into The Backing..
These two anthologies follow close behind a similar pair from last summer, Paul D. Staudohar's Fishing's Best Short Stories (LJ 7/00) and Hunting's Best Short Stories (Chicago Review, 2000). Hyperbole aside, all four are packed with fine prose from notable authors both classic and contemporary. That overlap between the competing counterparts is minimal just goes to show that fields and streams have been wonderful muses to many generations of writers. These diverse selections of short fiction and essays are enhanced by Underwood's informative prefatory remarks giving literary or historical context or adding some amusing anecdotes or interesting trivia. Underwood is a former editor-in-chief of Sports Afield and Outdoor Life and knew many of the authors personally. Patrick O'Brien, Thomas McGuane, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, Ben East, Charles Eliot, John Barsness, and Ed Zern are represented by separate contributions in both books. Major angling writers such as A.J. McClane, John Gierach, and Nick Lyons are in the Fishing book, of course, but there are also laudable pieces by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Le Anne Schreiber, and Zane Grey. The unanticipated outstanding authors in the Hunting volume include William Faulkner, Ivan Turgenev, and Theodore Roosevelt. The stories in both collections range from tender to raucous to knee-slapping hilarious. Highly recommended for all public libraries.ÄWill Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Every once in a while, a book publisher comes up with a great concept for a series of books that deserve more than superficial recognition. Such a series is "The Greatest (fill in the blank) Stories Ever Told", anthologies that should win places on many bedside tables. On the long winter nights that lie ahead, such stories make great reading." --The Lexington County Chronicle