New biography of author Brautigan tells of his life in the West

Every time I go to Redfish Lake, I think about author Richard Brautigan.

The hippie novelist of the 1960s is best known for his classic 182-page novel, "Trout Fishing in America." In the free-flowing narrative, he carries readers in and out of literature, cooking, sex, Mormonism, the West and, yes, fishing.

His character also travels across central Idaho, from McCall then to Lowman, Stanley and Redfish Lake. There his character discusses the fine art of catching minnows in a baking pan crusted with vanilla pudding.

Brautigan became an overnight sensation and a symbol of the counterculture that sprang up in the 1960s. He later moved to Montana’s Paradise Valley south of Livingston, a hangout for artists, authors and actors.

There he joined his Montana neighbors in their fascination with guns. He committed suicide at age 49 in 1984. In his brief time, he became an unlikely icon of the time and the place.

A friend from college bought Brautigan's Montana house on the Yellowstone River and I visited him in 1989. He showed me a hole in his kitchen wall where Brautigan had shot while drinking.

Then he took me out to the barn down by the river. Hanging on the wall was the fly rod and creel of the author of "Trout Fishing in America."

Now one of Brautigan’s Montana neighbors, novelist William Hjortsberg, has written a long biography of the author, "Jubilee Hitchhiker," reviewed today in the New York Times.

As I looked out on the lake from the porch of the Redfish Lake Lodge Saturday, I remembered watching my daughter and her friend catching minnows in the early 1990s. Even then Brautigan’s offbeat humor came to mind.

“The minnows were an Idaho tourist attraction,” he wrote. “They should have been made into a National Monument.”

Today, some of the minnows, the baby sockeye, are listed as an endangered species and the entire area has been protected for 40 years as the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. I know that doesn’t mean anything. But that’s what made "Trout Fishing in America" a strange and interesting read.

Idiot

There he joined his Montana neighbors in their fascination with guns and committed suicide at age 49 in 1984.

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Yes, because a fascination with guns is always connected to suicide.

His depression, alcoholism, and mental illness led to that end.

***

Your writing here, Rock, sucks as usual.

Not just for the lame gun reference above, but also for the fact he killed himself while living in California, not MT as your krap implies.

Grammer is important, pimp.

Barker--There he joined his Montana neighbors in their fascination with guns. He committed suicide at age 49 in 1984.
You--There he joined his Montana neighbors in their fascination with guns and committed suicide at age 49 in 1984.
Your comments here suck, (your words) as usual. Can't find employment?

Genius

HC, you can take note, the sentence in my post is the ORIGINAL version of how Rocko wrote it.

His correction added a period. It's still terrible writing.

But if you want to be a fan of Wrongo Rocko, knock yourself out.

Rocko's fan base

HC, spelling is important too- it's "grammar".
See how Rocko's blog is affecting you?

ha ha.

A burial plan was important, kids.

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You fry wants with that?

who

A friend from college bought his Montana house on the Yellowstone River and I visited him in 1989.

***
Grammar is important.

There is a big difference between,

"It is time to eat, Grandma"
and
"It is time to eat Grandma".

Unless Grandpa says it then it's private...bold...ribald

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.