Tuesday, 7 April 2009

"Downstream" by Tom Fort

The last few days I have been reading Downstream: Across England in a Punt by Tom Fort, the only book I can find about the Trent. Tom Fort is the fishing correspondent of the Financial Times.

Yes. That's what I thought, too.

I can't quite satisfy myself with it, though. I am a fussy reader, and I am probably one of the few who doesn't like Peter Ackroyd's book on the Thames. (I much prefer Schneer's). I think the reason is that both Fort and Ackroyd write about the river itself: the waters and the life beneath the surface. There is frustratingly little about the places and landscape through which these rivers flow. Fort, for example, deliberately avoids Nottingham, largely in a hissy fit because Nottingham has always - and largely to this very day - turned its back on the Trent. He provides considerable context for the ferryman of the Styx, which is interesting but not going to help you much nosing around Beeston or Long Eaton.

I'm not finished with Fort yet, but then I never did finish Ackroyd.

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