Nobody wants to hear a fish story where you calmly and flatly state that you once reeled in a 32.1 pound King Salmon.

We want to hear the story of how the thing nearly killed you—tangled you up in the lines and pulled you over the edge of the boat. How your arms burned as you fought the thing for no fewer than 20 rain-drenched minutes, sweat and salt stinging your eyes to blindness—not that it mattered, as this event took place in the pitch black dead of night. We want to hear the whiz of the line as the sea-beast makes a final desperate dash for survival and how, after an intense skirmish with 8’ swells and 40MPH wind gusts, came to within an inch of knocking you to your drowning death. In a good fish story, we want to see and hear the fisherman struggle to earn the prize of 32.1 (let’s round that up to an even 33) pounds of fresh pink sushi meat.

So, obviously, this is a fish story. There is a genuine effort to preserve some journalism and account for what “really” happened on the playa, but considering the gonzo element of it, you will have to understand that the reality of this book is filtering through one lens—mine. Believe as much of it (or as little of it) as you please. To be fair, I did finally reel in that damn fish.