The story of the eel (Anguilla anguilla) fascinates us. From Aristotle, via Freud to todays marine biologists. What seems to be the main source of fascination is how little we know about this slimy, snake-like and slivering fish. What we do know by now is that the eels are disappearing. It is one of the species that may be extinct in our lifetime (like the Dodo, the Geir-bird or the Mammoth). European eels is said to have lost well over 90% of its numbers the last ten years.
The Norwegian author, journalist and sports fisherman Torolf Kroglund tries to find out why – starting on an remote island in the middle of the long Norwegian coastline – Frøya – where he first caught eel as a kid. The author then travels through Europe (Germany, Spain, England, Netherlands, Sweden among others) and to the Sargasso sea to find answers, in a journey that is both a personal one and a quest for big answers. By following the fish that vanishes he not only finds the extraordinary tale of the eel but is also able to connect this unto a bigger and broader perspective.
The Last Eel will show the close connection between culture and nature, between use and protection – and also how every living creature on earth, even the more unlikely and ugly, reflects man and mankind doings and undoing’s.
A book that combines personal storytelling with narrative nonfiction in a manner lastly seen in books like The Sheperd’s Life, H is for Hawk and The Sixt Extinction.
It is essentially the consistent environmental perspective, combined with the close, personal writing style that makes the book an engaging experience.
Torolf Kroglund is the man behind one of the autumn’s most exciting books in the natural genre. The Last eel is a small artwork for us with heart for nature, and perhaps then especially for fish and animals. (…) The Last Eel is highly recommended.
Espen Farstad, Njff.no
The Last Eel is like a perfect cocktail consisting of abundant facts (spirits), narrative (mixed water) and politics (a fresh lemon slice).