A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living

Michael Dahlie, Author
Michael Dahlie, Author . Norton $23.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-393-06617-3
Reviewed on: 03/10/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Open Ebook - 282 pages - 978-0-393-06923-5
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-0-393-33635-1
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In Dahlie’s entertaining debut, Arthur Camden is a fly fisherman, devoted husband and father, and minor Manhattan socialite who would like nothing more than to avoid “troubling introspection.” Yet his slow botching of the family import-export business and the sudden dissolution of his marriage certainly have something to do with his bursting into tears at a meeting of the Hanover Street Fly Casters—a men’s club founded by his great-grandfather—and declaring his steadfast love for its members. This display of emotion is only the first crack in his reputation, and a sojourn to his son’s Colorado ranch begins a retreat to the safety of the club’s restricted world, while sorting out a bevy of complex feelings he struggles to recognize, let alone process. In the balance is nothing short of his identity and self-worth, stakes that debut novelist Dahlie makes abundantly clear with light comic touches. Dahlie’s dry and understated portrayal of old upper-crust Manhattan is as crisp and authentic as a well-made gin and tonic; the various turns of plot are swift and precise; and one is soon rooting for Arthur to get his groove back. (June)

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