Books: Fish Stories BLUES

by John Hersey Knopf; 205 pages; $16.95

"As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler," wrote Izaak Walton. He was both, but that was an easier accomplishment in the day of The Compleat Angler (1653), when there were fewer artists and more fish. Today it is harder to coax a fresh idea or albacore to the surface.

So the aesthetic and ichthyological achievement of Blues should not be minimized. John Hersey, previously noted for elaborations of such historic themes as World War II (A Bell for Adano), the Holocaust (The Wall) and the atom bomb (Hiroshima), has chosen the dialogue form for...

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