All Fishermen Are Liars by Linda Greenlaw Hyperion, $109 If all fishermen are liars, then commercial fishermen lie on an industrial scale. 'I can look my best friend square in the eye,' writes swordfish boat captain Linda Greenlaw, 'and unflinchingly lie, sandbagging or exaggerating the day's catch. And it's not only the quantity of fish that gets twisted. It's also the location where they were caught, and the type of gear, bait and technique. Hell, I've even been known to stretch the weather report! Most of us have learned the hard way not to share valuable information.' What's certainly true is that Greenlaw's rise to fame began in 1997 with the publication of the best-seller The Perfect Storm, in which she's described as 'one of the best sea captains, period, on the east coast [of America]'. She was one of the last people to speak to the crew of the Andrea Doria, which sank off Nova Scotia in monstrous seas with the loss of all hands. When that book became a hit, the offers began to mount. First to call her was Vanity Fair, then Discovery Channel and the ABC network. The Hollywood producers weren't far behind. But Greenlaw chose to capitalise on her publicity windfall by writing a couple of her own compelling, salt-encrusted accounts of life at sea, and of her rise to the top of a guild long dominated by some of the roughest and toughest of men. With two best-sellers under her belt, she can afford to relax with this light-hearted and eminently enjoyable collection of other fishermen's tales. The backdrop is an apocryphal evening at a dockside bar frequented by the fishing community of Portland, Maine. The escapades (despite the book's title and notwithstanding the occasional splash of hyperbole for added flavour) are of real people and events: some terrifying, some hilarious, all enthralling. Commercial fishing boats, Greenlaw wryly warns, are crewed in the main by unappreciated Vietnam vets, cruelly injured Olympic athletes, and assorted ninjas and drug kingpins on brief sabbaticals. But these men and women need to be dreamers, because their working lives are nasty, brutish and, all too often, short. And now their small and close-knit community faces another threat as it's ground between decreasing catches and increasing regulation and control. Their nostalgia brings a faintly maudlin tint to their accounts of the great feats of yesteryear, but adds piquancy to a fine read.