The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish
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Renowned for its pristine beaches and celebrity inhabitants, Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most exclusive destinations in America. But each September, after the tourists clear out, thousands of fishermen take back the beaches to compete in the Vineyard’s annual fishing derby, a monthlong contest that pits plumbers against investment bankers, schoolkids against senior citizens, and natives against newcomers in a round-the-clock hunt for a great fish. Island immortality is at stake, and history has proven that anyone can win it: teenage girls, dozing fishermen, complete amateurs. In The Big One, Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist David Kinney takes readers behind the scenes at the derby to chronicle thirty-five days of fish-addled hope and heartbreak. He captures all the action and introduces us to an eccentric gallery of characters that includes: Dick Hathaway, the crotchety legend who once caught a bluefish from a helicopter; Janet Messineo, a recovering alcoholic who says that striped bass saved her life; and Lev Wlodyka, a cagey local whose next fish will spark a storm of controversy and throw the tournament into turmoil. The Big One is a hugely entertaining story of passion and obsession that does for fishing what Friday Night Lights did for football.
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