The Trout Also Rises

"A blog upon my estutcheon" A weblog about fishing, hunting, hiking, cycling, books, beer, and other random musings. Any humor contained in this site is entirely unintentional and has not been tested on animals. e mail aaaaargh at msndotcom

Location: California

A hunter and fisherman, fascinated with books and history.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Otto von Prohaska Novels by John Biggins

I first ran into this author browsing the stacks at Powells in Portland a couple of years ago. I bought "A Sailor of Austria" and loved it. Otto is a sort of central European Flashman who joins the Imperial Austrian Navy in the years leading up to WWI. Like Flashy, the stories are written in the form of memoir, looking back from an advanced old age. Unlike Flashy, Otto is not a coward and a cad, which makes him none the less likeable.

I soon bought most of the rest of the books: "The Two-Headed Eagle" and "The Emperor's Colored Coat." They were all well written, with a wealth of historical detail. Humor was present like a big heap of whipped cream on a slab of Sacher torte; the books were all very funny.

The final volume I bought, "Tomorrow the World", was a reprinted edition which came out last year. The original hardbacks were going for over $1,000. The Prohaska novels should be on your bookshelf next to the Flashman and Bartholomew Bandy series.

To read these, put a long CD of Strauss waltzes on autoreplay with low volume, and drink some Austrian or Czech beer. Prost!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Five Fingers Peak

A belated post on the ascent of this peak on March 9. The peak is located northwest of Ridgecrest, California off Indian Wells Road.

A good-sized group of people from the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter met Sunday morning and started out about 10 am. The traverse is not very long, but it is extremely vertical, supposedly the steepest climb on the Hundred Peaks list. After and hour and a half, we had passed through the saddle between the peak and finger No. 4. The final seventy yards are moderate class three, which was a new experience for me. Made it to the top and signed the register. Thanks to Tom and Marlen for leading the trip and making an infrequent participant in their hikes feel very welcome.