WHAT A DELIGHT THIS FISH STORY WAS!
Cliff Twemlow's PISCATORIAL MASTERPIECE -- ISBN 978-0600206644 -- is a little over 150 pages of utter, giddy happiness. WHERE DO I START???
I'll start with my recommendation, which usually comes at the end of the review: READ THIS BOOK.
>> The story is full of featherless bipeds who seem to REALLY APPRECIATE US. One character after another simply cannot stay away from our recruiters, and I don't just mean the title character, either. If they're not standing at the edge of the water, fishing for us with a pole, they're crowding around the lake to watch a parade presided over by Miss Lakeland, or they're polishing up their diving gear to hang out with us on OUR TURF. There's even a florist -- a florist! -- whose house is filled with models of aquatic dinosaurs. He thinks nobody understands, but clearly, EVERYONE DOES.
>> The one unmistakable message of this story is that EVERYONE WANTS TO GET CLOSE TO THAT PIKE. We have a team of underwater explorers from the other side of the world; we have a confederation of local merchants who realize IMMEDIATELY that the giant Pike is THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THEM; we have a hermit on the less-populated side of the lake who has a score to settle against our recruiting operative; we even find a has-been journalist who knows that this story is THE ONE THAT WILL REVIVE HIS CAREER. Even the British government wants a piece of the action.
>> At no point does this author descend to using the usual tropes we all associate with post-Jaws killer fish epics. No team of scientists shows up to offer an inane explanation to the town fathers about why this fish came from and what it wants. Nobody comes up with a ludicrous solution to the "problem." They can't even really agree on whether the Pike IS a problem. NOW THAT IS REAL PROGRESS, LADIES.
>> There was an idiotic "instant romance" subplot in this story, but even here the author refused to do what every other author writing a killer-fish story has done since Peter Benchley set the standard in the early 1970s. We don't have to endure an instant of gratuitous Naked Ape sex. All I can say to that is: