The story of Wes Erks, an itinerant machinist and "high-class jack-of-all-trades," who takes a hefty fee for smuggling a group of illegal Chinese immigrants from Vancouver, B.C., to San Francisco in the 1970s. Three are teenaged "Hong Kong boys," one of whom has been grievously injured. The fourth, a fugitive and the son of a rich Chinese-American casino owner, means to settle an old grudge against a secret society, the Triad, but is himself being pursued. The tale of the perilous journey of these five, along with a woman who becomes implicated in a double-cross, and of Erks' wife, Ruby, a force in her own right, is otherwise filled with vivid fictional and historical figures. The whole of it, what the Bloomsbury Review has termed an "underground classic," conjures the story of the West itself.
"A novel of grandeur and daring, a book of fierce pleasures. Its themes are those that have occupied the great story-tellers from the beginning: the journey of self-discovery, danger and self-reliance, conduct. Yellowfish is, without qualification or hedging, a great work of imaginative literature, smack in the mainstream. This is the one."
Raymond Carver, author of Will You Please Be Quiet Please.
". . . in addition to its technical proficiency as a thriller, Yellowfish is even more compelling on several other, deeper levels. It is a story of widely differing personalities reaching each other across vast cultural gaps; it is a story of the triumph and failure of personalities over circumstance; and it is a story of the corruption of the American vision. . . . The book stays with one long after the reading is done; and the reader will search in his mind through the many levels of meaning far beyond the turning of the last page."
Richard Hoffman, Dallas Morning News.
". . . the author restores the tired abstractions of the great Western space and silence with fresh feelings of motion and flight. Both animals and men are hunted in this hard though never heartless book. The prey die with fierce dignity and the predators do not gloat."
R.Z. Shepherd, Time.