The Intruder, Robert Travers (John D. Voelker), Deep Wood Press (2012)

Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press does fantastic work, as you can see in this previous review of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness which he co-designed and printed for Chester River Press. I was excited to get The Intruder, not because I knew much about the literary work or the author, but because of the hand done quality I was sure to see, and because of the illustrative work of Jim Westergard, which I think is generally fantastic. I was not disappointed in the least. As you can see from the pictures below, everything is finely done, from the binding to the paper (I just love the output of printing on dampened paper) and typography to the ‘perfect for the story’ illustrations and decorations. Just look at the texture in the ‘Macro of Opening Text’ picture below.

Robert Travers was the pen name of John D. Voelker (1903-1991), a famous world-class fly fisherman, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and author of, most famously, the novel Anatomy of a Murder which went on to become a critically acclaimed and Academy Award nominated movie (directed by Otto Preminger and starring James Stewart). Most of his works had legal themes and plots, though his three books on fishing are regarded as classic works in this genre and it is easy to see why after reading this short story.

The Intruder was part of his 1960 published short story collection called Trout Madness. While I am not much of a fisherman, I love the outdoors, and this book certainly takes you away, and makes you realize the special nature of “solitude without loneliness” that can be experienced when you get away from it all. Like all great works, the story is deeper than the surface topic. As the introduction by Richard F. Vander Veen states “The Intruder underscores the value of people, place and purpose…”  The importance of “a promise made, promises kept” is a wonderful theme, all to neglected in today’s world.

The illustrator Jim Westergard is an internationally exhibited and renowned printmaker who lives and works in Red Deer, Alberta. He is an elected member of both the Society of Wood Engravers (UK) and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers(UK). He is also a member of the Wood Engravers Network (US), the Fine Press Book Association (UK, US), the Boston Printmakers Society (US), and the Alcuin Society (US, CA). From 1975-1999 Jim was an instructor in Printmaking and Drawing at Red Deer College. He is the author of Mother Goose Eggs, Sunny Side Up, illlustrated with his wood engravings “Beasts of New York” (The Porcupine’s Quill) and “Oddballs” (Heavenly Monkey) and co-authored “Fly On the Wall” with Jason Brink.

About the Edition

  • Originally published as a chapter in the book Trout Madness published by St. Martin’s Press in 1960 (copyright is 1960, Kitchie Hill, Inc.)
  • This edition designed, printed and bound by Chad Pastotnik at Deep Wood Press with assistance from Erin Murray
  • Wood engravings by Jim Westergard printed from the original maple blocks
  • Quarter-bound in heavy board with a Canapetta book cloth spine and Twinrocker Rustler paper
  • Copper foil title on cover and an embossed umber printed panel with Jim Westergard’s small “fly” wood engraving printed on green paper inset into it.
  • Dark green Hahnemühle Bugra flyleaves back up the book blocks which are all hand sewn on straps, mull attached and cased in
  • The book is composed in 14 pt Linotype Janson with ATF Garamond in display sizes and printed in 5 colors on dampened Hahnemühle Shiller 150gsm paper on a Vandercook 219 old style press
  • Foreword by Richard F. Vander Veen
  • 8 1/4 x 10 3/8 x 5/8″, 34 pages
  • Edition limited to 150 copies (the first twenty of which are deluxe), mine is #48

Pictures of the Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

{Ed. Note: there is a small smudge on some of these pictures; it is a camera artifact, not on the book — the camera is being fixed!}

The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Cover and Spine
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Cover #1
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Cover #2
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Cover #3
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Side View Macro
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, End Pages
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Title Page
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Title Page
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Text #1 (Foreword)
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Sample Text #1
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Start Page
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Opening Text
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro of Opening Text
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Text #2 with decoration
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Macro, Sample Illustration #3
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Illustration #4 with Text
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Text #3 with decoration
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Text #4 (macro)
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Text #5 with decoration
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Colophon
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Signature Macro

3 thoughts on “The Intruder, Robert Travers (John D. Voelker), Deep Wood Press (2012)

  1. Lovely book, thoughtfully designed and an interesting article. It’s funny how small details can grab your attention. I was drawn to the image on the cover and particularly liked the initial I with the coloured fish wrapped around it in the book! I’ve only recently become aware of Jim Westergard. I browsed a book of his (Oddballs from the Heavenly Monkey) in London – madly expensive, but with hugely accomplished and humorous engravings. He’s an entertaining writer as well.

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