Hooked on hope
Latest book by James Gilbraith – signed copy £12 inc postage
Hooked on hope
Latest book by James Gilbraith – signed copy £12 inc postage
Hooked On Hope is the follow up to my 2014 book Terminal Chancer
Emancipated from the drudgery of nine-to-five and buoyed by the flexibility of self-employment, Boo resolves to take his newfound freedom and use it to navigate the predictably unpredictable waters of the River Ribble, where success comes to only the most committed of anglers. Flanked by a colourful cast of characters, not least the eccentric and excitable Lamont, Boo enters the fishing season feeling a sense of optimism that comes with knowing that the reward is the journey rather than the destination, although he wouldn’t turn his nose up at a massive Ribble salmon.
Some reviews of Hooked On Hope
Wonderful writing with unique visualisation
Hooked on Hope is not a simple continuation of Terminal Chancer, but rather an evolutionary development. Having quit his job at the Cracker Factory, Boo Gilbraith’s perspectives change in subtle ways that add yet more value to his writing. Everything that I loved in Terminal Chancer – the narrative, characterisation and amazing visualisation – is still present, but the new angles and lighting add to the effect. Yet again I found myself laughing out loud in a public place, something no other book has done in decades.
Wonderful, do buy it.
There are some genuinely moving passages that sit along side the laugh out loud, the conservation ethos and the delightful musical references. So on the second cast, Gilbraith has delivered on all fronts. He’s managed to write and self publish two novels about fishing, neither of which are about fishing, but are absolutely about fishing. This is not the contradiction that it appears to be. I’ve bought both books for family members who are into fishing, but have no idea who The Beta band are (they loved it) and Ive bought it for friends who collect records and know every one of New Orders tour dates up until Peter Hook left the group. (They also love it.)
Heres two more
Buy a copy & phone in sick !
I have barely fished for salmon in my life, yet like his debut, “Terminal Chancer” ( truly a sleeping classic of angling writing) this is a book that speaks to any angler.
Hooked on Hope is humorous, profound at times and again encapsulates the essence of what it is to be an angling addict. It also reflects how shared obsessions bonds us ( perhaps chains us is a better word ) with those of diverse characteristics.
…I must seek to remember what the door mouse said.
Boo Gilbraith lets us join him for a season of salmon fishing. Mainly set on his home river, the Ribble, we are taken on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, happiness and sadness but all written with great humour and well-crafted prose. This isn’t a “how to” it is much better than that, it is “why?” The author explores life and friendship tied together with fishing and a musical soundtrack to his life. There aren’t many fishing books that will make you laugh out loud. This one will.
Im always happy to hear from readers, if you buy on Amazon please leave a review if you have enjoyed it and please take a photo of the book & share on social media. Its hard to get the word out without an agent or publishers. Getting either of those things is total witchcraft to me – so please do help me out and share it if you can.
Im on facebook as Boo Gilbraith, twitter @boogilbraith and instagram as Terminal Chancer – give me a follow if you use those platforms.
If you dont enjoy it then you can give me a dead arm the next time you see me.
James (Boo) Gilbraith
When Pete Tyjas approached me about providing an article for a new magazine based not only on how, where and when we fish but also concentrating on the why and what it means to us – I was all ears.
Trying to be lazy I tried to palm him off with some old shorts id written a couple of years ago ……………Pete got back in touch …. this time he was more specific ….He wanted something new……. new means work, new means development, new means getting out there & actually thinking ….. creatively
So with this new content brief I set sail down the Ribble to see what I wanted to say about my sport, my pastime, my passion & my personality
Two weeks later I had something worth publishing but would the magazine live up to Pete’s hopes and expectations – after-all …..all it takes is a speck of dust on the needle and even the greatest tune can distort into an irritating mess….
At least Pete was happy with my piece – he had loved it. Nothing ignites the inner glow like a complement – remember that and be more generous with them – life’s more pleasant.
Now all I had to do was wait for the magazine to drop. What arrived at my door was stunning – better than I had hoped for. A magazine that screamed quality, thought and space. Writers given the space the breathe – readers given the time to think – No adverts – a place of solace from the media shit storm that bombards our waking day.
Really – give it a go – wonderful photography – superb artwork – fantastic writing and even a piece about fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Ribble in Bandit Country by me. I hope this magazine succeeds as in my opinion it deserves to. Its got something that’s overlooked in a world run by accountants, ingenuity, integrity, verve, passion and most of all is made with love.
Terminal Chancer Silver Seasons Atlantic Salmon – Is a book about fishing, passion, humour, optimism, hope, outsiders, antiheros and breaking out of the eternal grind. One reader has said Its a classic and a must read. Another hailed it as a wild ride.
The book started as scattered ideas and entries in my diary. While connecting these strands I quickly realized that I was writing something very different – a potential square peg. Life’s interesting spaces tend to be inhabited by square pegs, people who don’t or won’t fit the plan.
Feedback & reviews have been fantastic – Caught By The River, Eat Sleep Fish, Fallons Angler, Trout Fisherman and Saatchi Arts & Music Magazine have all given Terminal Chancer high praise and superb reviews. Obviously these comments are very gratifying but its the reviews from the readers – anglers and non-anglers alike that have been the greatest surprise. The warmth in which the book has been received has been overwhelming – For more info, reviews and an option to buy – please read on and use the link Paypal link below.
Back cover reads : Blinded by optimism and dammed by time – The Terminal Chancer reluctantly straddles both the worlds of responsibility and self indulgence. He strives to exit the membrane of the everyday grind so he can inhabit his own exclusive world – one occupied by Atlantic salmon. Is that too much to ask for?
Eat Sleep Fish said – If you buy one book this year make sure its this one. And Its a small landmark in angling literature
Jon Berry for Caught by the River – The characters in Terminal Chancer are the true beat of its tortured heart. There’s Lamont – profane, unpredictable, obsessive and obtuse – and Ahab, the weather-beaten philosopher with the gammy hip. Early on, we meet an angler in his eleventh successive year without a fish, a troubled soul who refuses to surrender. And then there’s Gilbraith himself; a man juggling the disapproval of the Human Resources Department of the cracker factory with a need to be on the river when the salmon are running, a father and husband who knows that time is precious and, as Ahab makes all too clear, always running out.
Garrett Fallon – For Fallons Angler – It is not an instruction manual, nor a how-to guide, but within its pages lie an honesty of language and message that few people ever manage to convey.
Jeffrey Prest Features editor for Trout Fisherman said One of the best books I’ve read this year
Short Description: The seasonal journey of an addicted salmon fisherman hell bent on time travel and achieving the perfect work-life balance.
Anybody who has ever cast a line will absolutely love this book. Likewise anybody who ever wistfully looked out of a work place window daydreaming of some happy place they would rather be.
One reader described it as follows :
If Hunter S Thompson, came from the Ribble Valley, fell into the world of salmon fishing and became drinking buddies with John Gireach, this is what his first salmon book would read like. This is an account of a season’s salmon fishing on the Ribble with detours into the past and up to Scotland for some famous fishing via the balancing of our need to be at the riverside with real life distractions of work, kids, drinking, friendships, HR departments etc
I don’t usually bother with a review but this book was hilarious. Its about passion and obsession and juggling your life to pursue that passion – and it’s about fishing. It doesn’t matter whether or not you go fishing- everyone will be able to relate to these stories. The writing is witty and ironic and just plain funny – and it doesn’t stop, there is a laugh on every page. Fishing aside, if you like life you’ll love this book.
For more info and reviews please continue reading –Continue reading “Terminal Chancer”
Jon Berry is the Author of A Can of Worms, Beneath The Black Water, and A Train To Catch. He has published many articles on fishing and was asked by Caught by The River to review Terminal Chancer. I have to say that when I heard such an accomplished writer was reviewing my book – I was both excited and nervous in equal measure.
Review by Jon Berry for Caught by The River – http://www.caughtbytheriver.net/
Atlantic salmon. Rainbow trout. Shaun Ryder. LSD. Apocalypse Now. A crazy-as-crazy-gets friend called Lamont. Shrimp-head balaclavas. An unlikely mix, but Gilbraith’s Terminal Chancer is an unlikely book.
It is rare for authors to mention, as Gilbraith’s does in the book’s early pages, that they have self-published the item you hold in your hands because two publishers have turned it down. Upon finishing, I can see why they did; I can also see that they missed a trick. Terminal Chancer is an unusual memoir and an idiosyncratic joy.
Gilbraith is a salmon man, devoted to fishing for the rare runs of fish on his local River Ribble. As such, this is a story with very few salmon in it. There is none of the gigantism found in the writings of Hugh Falkus or Fred Buller, and only brief glimpses of the high-end, ghillie and Land Rover fishing that can be had, for a considerable price, in the Scottish Highlands. Instead, we get the musings of a man who takes every opportunity to escape the cracker factory to cast for fish that are rarely there, and frequently fall off when they do turn up.
The characters in Terminal Chancer are the true beat of its tortured heart. There’s Lamont – profane, unpredictable, obsessive and obtuse – and Ahab, the weather-beaten philosopher with the gammy hip. Early on, we meet an angler in his eleventh successive year without a fish, a troubled soul who refuses to surrender. And then there’s Gilbraith himself; a man juggling the disapproval of the Human Resources Department of the cracker factory with a need to be on the river when the salmon are running, a father and husband who knows that time is precious and, as Ahab makes all too clear, always running out.
Angling readers, especially those who pursue fish as rare and capricious as salmon, will recognise these ordinary but extraordinary dilemmas. ‘Work-life balance’ is a phrase all-too-often bandied about by bosses and bean-counters who just want you to work harder, and stop bitching about it. They are not anglers. Gilbraith’s contempt for them will find a supportive audience.
The author writes with irreverence, but the tension he describes is palpable. Beneath the lunacy and lysergic excursions is a man battling to cope with the demands of a twenty-first century which values clocking on rather more highly than checking out. The man who lives by and for his river is increasingly rare, and Terminal Chancer – despite its limited run of five-hundred copies and place far outside the literary and angling mainstream – should serve as a rallying cry to those who know how wrong that is.
You can read more about Jon here http://www.jon-berry.net/index.html
Other readers have said
Alternatively, could be called the hitchhiker’s guide to fishing
Old Doug would be proud of the diverse people and topics that pop in this book. Don’t be fooled by the sub title, it’s not all about fishing, never once will it try telling you how to tie a dog nobbler! (Apparently its a fishing fly?) Fishing seems to be just the author’s obsession, I could, and you will, easily relate this book to parts of your life, loves and work mix. The author will lead you off on some very diverse tangents and references some obscure writers and performers from all genres of entertainment, that may have you reaching for your almanac of who’s who! but I think this just adds to the charm of the whole prose. So “for no good reason” go and Immerse yourself in “Gonzo Fishing”. Whether you are a fisherman or not, you will enjoy, I did and the closest I get to fishing is the card game!
A great read for all game anglers, I defy any reader not to laugh out loud at some of the stories. Well written and some of the tales will strike a chord with most salmon anglers. I read this book in two days, couldn’t put it down. Lets hope the author writes a follow up.
Brilliant!. Nothing to suit me on tv last evening, so I downloaded this book and read it all. A great read – all the stories
a salmon fisher can relate to and funny! As a fishing great granny I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be
watching out for the next one!! Great and very well written!
Eat Sleep Fish online magazine
Just finished reading Terminal Chancer – Silver Seasons by James Gilbraith. A full review will be out in the next issue but if you are going to read one book it should be this one. You’ll laugh out loud and empathise too when you spend a year in the company of James in search of salmon. We’re huge fans of it at ESF!
I’ve just travelled from Cornwall to heathrow. Crying with laughter most of the way.
This book is genius.
Definitely get yourself a copy for the close season.
Thanks for a great read
The book was waiting for me on return from a (fish less) Scottish trip, nursing a monumental hangover – malt safari – my hangover recovery theory mirrors the descent of Everest by base camp i.e. in stages by attempting to reduce the amount of alcohol by half per day until back to sea level, otherwise known as one bottle of red.
It was in this environment that the book was read and for that I am truly grateful – laughter is the other great hangover cure.
If “salmon fever” is a disease then truly it is the only one that I remain grateful to have succumbed.
Salmon fishing in the yeah-man
A brilliant read and not just for fishermen! Everyone can relate to the author’s struggle of finding time for his passion, I’ve never held a fishing rod in my life but I caught myself thinking in terms of my hobby as I was reading it, interchanging book names and places to suit; I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who has a hobby or past-time that they love. A book with laugh out loud stories, music suggestions and plenty of swearing. Buy it, you’ll love it.
Eat Sleep Fish Review
Pete Tyjas has sat down and read James Gilbraith’s Terminal Chancer. Could he put it down?
We last heard from James Gilbraith back in Issue 23 of ESF when he sent us an extract from his book, Terminal Chancer, that he was hoping to get published.
A year or so later I am pleased to say that he has done so and a copy arrived just the other day.
It is about James, or Boo as he is known, and his friends and how their lives revolve around salmon fishing, most notably on the Ribble in Lancashire. It starts with a friend who takes to the roof of his house in a deep state of anguish after spending 11 seasons having not caught a salmon and follows a season’s fishing written in a modern and refreshing style.
The book revolves around the 2013 salmon season and involves him trying to wrestle the Salmon Weasel Award ( the cover, in case you were wondering) away from the clutches of his friend Lamont. Without giving away too much the Salmon Weasel award is won by the angler who catches the most salmon in a season when they should really be somewhere else, like work.
I liked the style of writing very much and can’t ever recall laughing out loud when reading a fishing book but I did this many times and I defy you not to do the same.
The Ribble may not be considered to be a big name river but it really doesn’t matter as the characters who fish it and the rich stories that revolve around it are about much more than epic struggles with large salmon, much more.
For me, this is a book that takes salmon fishing from how it is sometimes perceived and made it interesting to a wide range of people. To be honest, you don’t even have to be a salmon angler to enjoy this, if you fish you’ll still enjoy the read. It is about real anglers who fish in the real world. I like that.
For me, it is a small landmark in angling literature that is different but something I can very much relate to and feel it speaks my language.
I hope this book gets the success it so deserves.
& this wonderful review and link
Hello James, I’ve just finished reading Terminal Chancer. In fact I think I should have started this email saying hello Boo. I’ve enjoyed the book so much that I feel I know you.
Last night I finished the book and had that moment of loss when you turn the last page and realise it’s over. Thank goodness for Caught By The River.
I will be checking out some of the tunes you recommend and would like to send one your way. This came out earlier this year and chimed with my mood at the time (three teenage daughters and turning 56, now turned) There is something wonderfully cathartic about singing “there’s shit all over the streets” at the top of your voice, do try it. I may actually ask Jeff at CBTR to post it as one of the songs of the year.
All the best !
& this from a non fisher
just finished Terminal Chancer. It’ a fantastic book full of handy little tips and inspirational guidance on how to make the most of your work/life balance. Everyone needs a reminder now and again to put the things that make them happy first, above everything else. Every extra minute you can wrestle away from the daily grind to do something you love, whatever that may be, are minutes that are worth their weight in gold. This book is worth every one of those stolen minutes you spend in it, full of laughs, great tales and interesting music references. Looking forward to the next one.
& This review from http://has2btheflyway.com/2014/11/12/boos-book-terminal-chancer/
Fishing books? At last count I got to about 180, so I suppose the 200 mark isn’t far round the corner. Due to my dirty past as coarse/specimen fisherman about a third of them are by Chris Yates, John Bailey, Rod Hutchinson and their pals.
Even before I started into the world of fly fishing , I started reading probably the number 1 mover in fly fishing literature, John Gierach, who with his “off the wall” titles and a mixture of gonzo humour and refusal to conform to the accepted “salmon & trout are everything” world of the 80s and 90s in United States, was a forerunner for today’s world of fly fishing where if it swims, someone is chasing it with a fly rod. Even though I’ve never cast a line in America, Gierach’s tales of fishing for carp, pike, bass and yes even trout are one of the biggest influences on my fishing today. As much as the fishing Gierach tells us about Coffee, road trips, mountain hiking, diners, fishing buddies, camping, drinking, fly tying, bamboo rods (I’m not even going down that road) that sums up the life of a trout bum.
2 of the many shelves
He steadfastly refuses to go the route of instruction and just tells his tales of fishing and the life orbiting it. Over the years I’ve collected all his books and 2014 is a Gierach year where a new title hits the shelves in Spring and Diane contacts Paul ay Coch Y Bonduu Books and orders me a signed copy, a ritual in itself that has run for as least 14 years.
So what about James (Boo) Gilbraith’s book – Terminal Chancer, Silver Seasons Alantic Salmon?
Let’s get it straight from the off this isn’t fly fishing – Boo is a salmon angler. Boo fishes the fly if conditions are right and he fishes it bloody well. However if he feels that his best chance of a salmon is spinning he will spin or go total darkside and fish the prawn and that’s about as much instruction on salmon fishing you will get out of this book…
I bump into Boo and his pal Howey 5 or 6 times a season on the Ribble, and always enjoy a chat with them in the car park or down at my favorite pool (where he usually tongue in cheek asks for my permission to run through) and he’s always struck me as a bloke with a great sense of humor, who always has a tale to tell. So when I heard he was self publishing a book on salmon fishing, I was always betting on a Gierach feel to the book as opposed to Falkus. I was spot on, this can only be described as a wild ride.
If Hunter S Thompson, came from the Ribble Valley, fell into the world of salmon fishing and became drinking buddies with John Gireach, this is what his first salmon book would read like. This is an account of a season’s salmon fishing on the Ribble with detours into the past and up to Scotland for some famous fishing via the balancing of our need to be at the riverside with real life distractions of wives, work, kids, drinking, friendships, HR departments etc.
It’s often said that any writer of note is a keen observer of life and Boo certainly displays his observations of his and other salmon fisher’s lives and issues. I honestly believed that I was alone in secretly desiring that Orvis Zambezi vest, but clearly at least someone else has a dodgy “fashion” sense too! and as for being sat in the car, going through the anguish of picking Beat A or Beat B and being totally unable to move in fear of making the incorrect choice !!…I feel as though Boo has been quietly sat in the back of my car for half of the last season! A book that delivers a chuckle a page and a couple of out loud belly laughs every chapter, is in my view great stuff, I loved it and forgive my clichés, but I read in it in one afternoon and was honestly disappointed when I finished it and had to leave Boo’s madcap world of Ribble Salmon and return to real life. The biggest tribute to Boo I can make is that he’s currently tucked between James Babb’s “River Fool” and Negley Farson’s “Going Fishing”, on the same shelf as BB, Seth Norman, Harry Middleton, Thomas McGuane and a little known author by the name of E Hemmingway.
In the spirit of the book I’m writing this at my desk, while I really should be upstairs in a meeting listening to the boss talk through the financing of a take-over – I hope Boo will be proud of me.
I am sat at a table on a little square by St Pauls Bay in Malta, I have been in this very spot a few times over the last five days, the past two times I have been in this spot I have been routed for a long time, I have been reading. I am now no longer reading, I have run out of book, I still have to waste time before it is lunch but I am uninspired in a post book low and decide to head back to the hotel. On returning to the hotel I explain to my folks that I am back early and that the book I have just finished was really excellent. Reunited with my phone I see I have a facebook message, it is from Boo Gilbraith whose book I have literally just finished reading… spooky bastard… that was some timing fella.
I am not just saying all this because I know Boo and I know loads of folk involved in the book or indeed people involved in the implied soundtrack that scores the book so beautifully… I am mainly saying nice things about the book because I have been a little bit afraid of Boo’s wife since I was 13 or so…
Terminal Chancer is not a fishing book, granted you will accidentally learn about it by accident but the book is about getting away with it, a noble and beautiful thing. The words are warm and the stories funny “tu me fait chier” very nearly rendered me helpless in the November sunshine. He is a course fisherman so if you are offended by swears you should not read this book until you have got a grip… buy this book… it is very good.