Tom Fort, I think, is too happy a man to be a great fishing writer. There is a sense of equable and amiable melancholy around his memoir of journeys through Eastern Europe with a fishing rod, which flattens out both the delights and the abyssal disappointments of a fisherman’s life. He has travelled around the region twice. The first time was in 1990, in the immediate aftermath of the revolutions and the fall of communism; nearly twenty years later he returned to see what had changed.
On his first trip he met plenty of dedicated anglers, men who felt alive only by the waterside and who spent as little of their lives as possible in the dead-end, polluted and soul-destroying towns where they were ostensibly employed. One of them had been converted to capitalism