The Big One

A Forbes Best Sports Book of the Year

On one of the most fabled islands in the world, where moguls and movie stars come to summer in luxury, the most eagerly anticipated event of each year is, of all things, a fishing tournament. But the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby is no sleepy tackle-shop contest. It’s more like Caddyshack with fresh bait and sharp hooks. Here is the story of a community and a sporting event that is rendered with the same depth, color, and emotional power of the best fiction. Published to rave reviews and purchased by DreamWorks in a major film deal, The Big One is a spellbinding and richly atmospheric work of narrative journalism in the tradition of Friday Night Lights.

Buy it!

“Mr. Kinney … takes up his story with an enthusiasm that more closely resembles that of an embedded war correspondent.”The Wall Street Journal

“A rollicking account of the annual striped bass and bluefish derby on Martha’s Vineyard, spiked with the you-are-there view of the beauty, folly, and humanity of the participants. Kinney follows some of the most intriguing personalities, does a bit of fishing, and documents the at-times tricky relationship between the blue-collar derby participants and the well-to-do seasonal residents of the island.”Forbes

“Fish fan or not, you will find the narratives and characters in The Big One rich and intriguing and weird and wonderful. A great read and a great tale.”Susan Orlean, New York Times best-selling author of The Orchid Thief

“A roaring account … The Big One is a fun, two-fisted read. … I’ve fished the derby before and the excitement that surges through town is electric. Rumors, laughter and accusations fly. Kinney’s book captures these tales of chicanery, one-upsmanship and braggadocio, and just the overall weirdness.”—Cape Cod Times

“What Kinney uncovers in documenting this event is the deep cultural underbelly of a fishing society that few people on the outside will understand.”—The Martha’s Vineyard Times

The Big One is a rollicking true story of a grand American obsession. You don’t have to be a fisherman to relish David Kinney’s marvelous account of the annual striper madness on Martha’s Vineyard, or his unforgettable portraits of the possessed. It’s a fine piece of journalism, rich with color and suspense.”—Carl Hiaasen, New York Times best-selling author of The Downhill Lie

“Catching a fish off a Vineyard beach at Derby-time is about as much fun as you can have with waders on, and in The Big One David Kinney nails the chase and captures the thrill. His book is funny, brackish and moving. A keeper.”—Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated

“Who knew a book about a fishing tournament could be so damn compelling?”Deadspin

Excerpt: The Chase


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