Cover image for The sporting road : travels across America in an airstream trailer, with fly rod, shotgun, and a yellow lab named Sweetzer
The sporting road : travels across America in an airstream trailer, with fly rod, shotgun, and a yellow lab named Sweetzer
Fergus, Jim.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 269 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library SK41 .F4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



More than just a "man and his dog" hunting adventure, The Sporting Road is a book about the land and man's place in it. It is also, in many ways, a book about relationships; with nature, animals, and the people with who live around us. As Rick Bass says in his introduction, Jim Fergus is a man for whom "The common denominator is not geographical, but internal; here is a man who belongs intensely to the living. And slowly, gradually - essay by essay - you become aware of the unsaid: the fact that he fits a diminishing time, a diminishing space, and a diminishing code of manners. That he always puts others before him; that he considers and respects his friends, his prey, his dogs, and the landscapes that engage these things."

Author Notes

Jim Fergus is an author born in 1950 in the U.S. He earned a degree in English from Colorado College. He works as a tennis teacher and freelance writer. He won the 1999 Fiction of the Year Award from the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association for his first novel, One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd. His other titles include: The Sporting Road: Travels Across America in an Airstream Trailer- With Fly Rod, Shotgun, and a Yellow Lab Named Sweetzer, The Wild Girl, and The Vengeance of Mothers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Colorado outdoor writer Fergus' essays celebrate bird hunting, friends, dogs, fishing, Native American culture, and the American countryside. Hunting and fishing are his primary concerns, and the majority of the pieces are about hunting turkeys, geese, grouse, partridge, and quail and fishing for bonefish, tarpon, bass, and trout. The sporting activity takes place as Fergus works his way across the country in an Airstream trailer with only his dog, Sweetzer, for company. In addition to accounts of his adventures in pursuit of fish and fowl, Fergus offers vivid descriptions of obscure wildlands in North Dakota, Nebraska, and elsewhere as well as appealing vignettes about cooking, camping, and the people he meets on the road. Insightful observations on the perils facing small towns and farms bring a touch of social consciousness to the easygoing, personable memoir. This book will appeal to those who enjoy the outdoor writing of William Tapply (see below) and Russell Chatham. --John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

Whether scrambling up the desiccated slopes of Utah's Desolation Canyon in pursuit of birds known as chukars or whipping a tenuous fly line into the Florida surf, Fergus (A Hunter's Road) relates simple and vivid details in this pleasing account of six years of travel and sport. Perhaps befitting a sportsman, Fergus has a spare writing style and uses only what he needs. The result is a light and enjoyable collection of tales featuring Fergus, his dog Sweetzer and a random cast ranging from a Georgia native known as Fishboy to a modern-day Davy Crockett, whom Fergus dubs the Mountain Man in deference to his flintlock rifle and steady hand with a double-bladed tomahawk. Fergus and the people with whom he hunts are not the beer-guzzling, reckless pillagers of nature who often live in the popular imagination. Even those who don't condone the sport should heed Fergus's points that hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt began the conservation movement, and that development, overgrazing and chemical farming cause incalculably greater harm to animal populations than does huntingÄharm that is "rarely perceived by anyone other than the knowledgeable wildlife biologist." Because the book is composed primarily of previously published, though reworked, articles, readers are sometimes reintroduced to people and species that have already appeared. Even so, these overlapping tales have the honest allure of a good campfire yarn. Illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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