Written by: Matt Molgaard
I can’t recall how long it’s been since A Little Night Fishing slid across my desk. It’s been a while, and I only know that because I make note of the novels that tackle topics I care about, and I’ve got a passion for fishing that I’m barely able to feed as a result of a hectic schedule and a serious drought problem. Fewer holes to fish, fewer minutes to bait those hooks. It’s life. But, life can and should include the occasional escape route. Recently, for me, the only escape I cared to pursue was Chuck Daukas’ extremely brief novel, A Little Night Fishing, and that’s because, as I’ve said, I’m honestly fond of the subject matter.
I made the mistake of misplacing this little keeper. Every once in a while a few books will go missing, only to turn up a year later in the garage, dusty and pissed off at the D-bag who never respected ‘em enough to read a few pages. Sorry, Chuck – I honestly had intentions of jumping on this novel immediately. These kinds of stories really do… well, float my boat (sorry, it just had to be).
Speaking of boats leads me to thinking about water, and thinking about water certainly fuels me to talk briefly about the story and the details of A Little Night Fishing, which, fortunately for all parties, can be summed up quickly and easily without dropping major spoilers on you. An unassuming security guard (well, he moonlights as a security guard, while playing the role of fourth grade teacher full time) has a late night encounter while getting his evening fishing on. But this encounter is atypical to the greatest degree imaginable. This encounter, in fact, would be enough to turn your average man into a puddle of urine and cowardice. Because the man that stumbles upon our unlikely hero, isn’t exactly a man… he’s something else entirely, and although he walks on land, an intimidating and foreign presence, he also calls the deeper regions of the ocean his home. He’s also about to ensure the residents of a comfortable coastal town remember that some nightmares are very, very real, and you never know what might be swimming just beneath your paddling feet.
There, did it! Gave you enough to formulate some ideas of what you’re getting out of Daukas’ debut novel, which really is a top notch piece of fiction, blending scares, laughs and outlandish characters to perfection, without giving away a few really solid surprises.
I’ve read an awful lot of Damnation’s novels over the years. They’ve got some great authors in their stable, capable of scaring the hell out of a reader. There are a lot of those talents associated with Damnation. None of those authors have birthed a book as lovable as Chuck’s, and none have come close to impressing in the manner that A Little Night Fishing manages.
You can read a little bit about Chuck Daukas on the web. He sounds like an awesome guy who lives an awesome life. He also sounds like writing is something he loves to do as opposed to something he relies upon to survive in a pricey world. If Chuck’s only writing for the love of it, fantastic – I respect that. But I sure hope his love of fiction doesn’t wane anytime soon, I’m ready for my next dose of Daukas horror, like, yesterday. A Little Night Fishing is a raucous joyride through bloody swells, and you’re best to keep your feet planted on solid ground, a certain little Damnation release clutched in your hand.
Order the book right here.