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Sporting Classics Review We’ll Do It Tomorrow and Ten Was the Deal

Sporting Classics Magazine featured an article in their Nov/Dec 2018 issue titled John Faris: A Notable New Voice in the Art of Storytelling which reviews both my second book, We’ll Do It Tomorrow, and my first book, Ten Was the Deal.  Click on the picture to see the article in context or read the excerpt below.

JOHN FARIS: A NOTABLE NEW VOICE IN THE ART OF STORYTELLING.
BOOK REVIEW BY JIM CASADA
Senior Editor at Sporting Classics Magazine

Simply put, if you haven’t yet read the two books produced by John P. Faris, Jr., a treat of the first magnitude awaits you. I accorded brief coverage to the books, Ten Was the Deal (2013) and We’ll Do It Tomorrow (2016) in earlier renditions of this column.

Faris is a true sportsman for all seasons and, in his books, you encounter a little bit of everything. Information Faris provides about himself reveals that he and his wife have, over the years, visited all of the earth’s continents and more than 80 countries, yet his stories leave no doubt whatsoever of his keen awareness that his home state of South Carolina is in effect a sporting paradise. His stories range widely—the predictable coverage of deer and turkey hunting; the Christmas BB gun and then, in due time, a worthy successor in the form of a single-shot shotgun familiar to so many of us; waterfowling; small game and various types of fishing.

The background to these ventures in storytelling is also intriguing. Inspiration came from the author’s admiration for annual Christmas “letters” his minister shared with the congregation, and the catalyst for Faris moving from uncertain, possibly faltering first footsteps in putting together something similar from his own life experiences to finished books came about in as moving a setting as one can possibly imagine.

Alone in a room with his father, “who was always my best friend,” Faris read a story to him as he lay on his deathbed. It was an attempt to capture some of the outdoor grandeur they had shared and savored. Faris wasn’t even certain his dying father was aware of him or his oral recounting of special moments from their shared past he had committed to paper, but when the tale was told, the senior Faris gripped his son’s hand with tears rolling down his cheeks. That’s precisely the type of emotion, at times gut-wrenching and at others a zephyr of literary wind to lift one’s spirits and send them soaring, the author brings to his pages.

A subliminal message Faris offers time and again is that it isn’t merely the size of the quarry, the heft of the game bag or a bulging stringer of fish that makes for memorable experiences. Those things are undeniably gratifying, but even more meaningful are the special closeness to family and friends the outdoors can provide, the linkage to the good earth that become palpable through the craftsmanship of a skilled wordsmith, and the elemental enchantment associated with the very acts of fishing and hunting.

Space constraints forbid in-depth coverage of individual stories, but there are a dozen of them in the first book and 15 more in the second volume.

You’ll find pathos and pleasure, mesmerism and magic, not to mention an overriding current of what might simply be described as connectivity to nature’s myriad wonders and the endlessly appealing allure of the sport.

Not only are the tales in these books told in excellent and, at times, exquisite fashion, both volumes have qualities all-too-often missing in self-published works. The quality of materials—paper, binding, dust jacket and the like is first-rate. My aging eyes, long ago abused by endless hours spent in poorly lit libraries and archives in the British Isles, also appreciated the generous type size.

I’ll close with a strong recommendation that you add these books to your collection and an even more strident one that you read them as opposed to allowing them to be dust-laden prisoners on wooden shelves or in glass cages. Read them and you will be entertained.

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Thanks to the editors of Sporting Classics Magazine for their permission to reprint these excerpts from the Nov/Dec 2018 issue.

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Sporting Classics Review of We’ll Do It Tomorrow

I was honored that my new book We’ll Do It Tomorrow was reviewed by Sporting Classics magazine.  Click on the picture to see the article in context or read the excerpt below.

 

Review of We'll Do It Tomorrow

“Finally, as a nice counterpoise to stories of big game and distant locales, there’s John P. Faris Jr’s We’ll Do It Tomorrow: Southern Hunting and Fishing Stories (Hardbound, 253 pages, illustrated, $28.99 from www.outdoorstories.com).  This is the talented author’s second book-length venture into storytelling, with his previous effort, Ten Was the Deal, having carved a comfortable niche in the ranks of contemporary Southern tellers of sporting tales.

The book’s subject matter ranges widely and encompasses the quarries and activities that typify local outdoor pursuits in the heartland of the South – whitetails and cottontails, bass and a first gun, simple culinary pleasures, little things that are part of the sporting experience, and much more.  If you read the book’s title story and don’t find yourself dabbing your eyes or with a catch in your throat, some serious self-examination is in order.  The piece is that moving and meaningful.

Mostly though, this is just relaxed literature on the outdoors in the vein of Havilah Babcock, Archibald Rutledge, Robert Ruark in his “Old Man” pieces, or Charlie Elliott at his best.  As Southern as a slice of pecan pie or Vienna sausages and Saltines on a summer fishing trip, this is a book meant not just for sons and daughters of the South, but anyone who relishes those warm and winsome hours devoted to being astream or afield.”

 

 

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Sporting Classics Review of Ten Was The Deal

I was honored that my new book Ten Was The Deal was reviewed by Sporting Classics magazine.  Click on the picture below to see the article in context or read the excerpt  below.

Sporting-Classics-Book-Review

 

A NOTEWORTHY NEW BOOK
John P. Faris Jr., Ten Was the Deal: Southern Hunting and Fishing Stories. Indianapolis, Indiana: Dog Ear Publishing, 2013.

Available in hardback, paperback and e-book forms through major retailers.

This work, illustrated by Ralph A. Mark Jr., is a throwback to a time when storytelling was considered an art and outdoor magazines actually published material of that genre on a regular basis as opposed today’s fixation with how to, where to and trophy hunting. Faris’ book is largely autobiographical in nature and exhibits the author’s obvious appreciation of Robert Ruark’s Old Man and the Boy. There are a dozen pieces in all along with an introduction that pays warm tribute to his father as a sporting mentor. The book’s title comes from one of the stories, and along the way you’ll fish for bream, hunt ducks and turkeys (the latter in a piece with the unlikely but eye-catching title “Big ’Possums Walk Late”), and enjoy the camaraderie and closeness to the land that loom so large in Southern storytelling. I greatly enjoyed the book, and it’s no secret that I can be picky and sometimes downright peevish when judging works dealing with hunting and fishing.