The March 2008 issue of National Fisherman has arrived in my mailbox and inside is the conclusion to Spike Walker’s new true-life story, Staying Alive. To read my post on part one of the story, please see “New Story by Spike Walker in National Fisherman Magazine,” which I posted here on January 17, 2008.
It’s refreshing to read a story like Staying Alive because it is fluid writing that’s awash in authenticity. There seems to be more writing than ever about commercial fishing these days by people who are not actually commercial fishermen or even come from fishing families. It takes a guy like Spike to write something that industry insiders can both respect and enjoy.
I appreciate the fact that when I sit down to read something by Spike Walker, I won’t have to cringe as I read. I can read with confidence, because I know that he will have captured the setting, the family, the fishery with the kind of credibility that only comes from years (if not decades) of working in, and writing about, the industry.
Readers won’t be disappointed with the conclusion to Staying Alive. Spike’s use of dialogue rings true throughout the narrative, and the painstaking use of detail in his writing had me going back through the story more than once just to see how he does it. I won’t spoil the final paragraphs, but suffice it to say, his description of the Miss Kim (the crab boat around which the story is centered) at the end of the story is haunting. The image will stay with me for a long time.