A fantastically satirical memoir that reveals not just the life of the author but also many truisms about passion, relationships, and the flaws of human nature, Trash Fish is the story of a boy who gives himself over to his obsession with fish as an escape from the trials of growing up. Time and again, as his life unfolds to reveal his failings and foibles to those around him—his academic parents, his genius brother, his motley friends—he returns to the fish, which cast him a life line of their own.
Laugh-out-loud funny yet sardonically raw to the bone, Keeler tells a whole whirlpool of a story-the women, the Peace Corps, the teaching jobs, the marriage and children, and, of course, the rod and the reel, the lure and the catch. Eventually, however, even his serene fishing life becomes contaminated with real-world influences: A polite society of angling purists insists that he choose between flies and bait, while his alter ego (and nemesis) begins to use fishing as an excuse to cheat on his wife.
Ultimately, Keeler’s ichthyophilist finds himself having to acknowledge that he can’t escape down the river bend, and that in order to experience true love, he must accept the complexities within himself and within the people on land around him.