Thursday, June 19, 2008

Big Fish, by Daniel Wallace

My final selection for Carl's Once Upon a Time II challenge, Big Fish by Daniel Wallace, was probably the perfect book for my current state of mind. It's fanciful and mythic, full of tall tales and exaggerations.
The story is narrated by William Bloom, son of the "big fish" himself, Edward Bloom. While Edward is largely absent during William's formative years, William builds his perception of his father on magnificent adventure tales that his father tells about his life experiences. While it's mostly a load of crap, William sees his father as that "big fish in a big pond." Interspersed with the myths and legends about his father are four chapters that reveal his death. Each one takes us a little closer to that fateful moment when his father will no longer live to tell another tale.
This was the perfect book at the perfect time because it's an easy read, a quick read, and the ending is just lovely. As I read, I wasn't exactly sure what I thought about it. I wanted William's dad to BE SERIOUS for once and stop all his trash talk. But, by the end, I sort of made peace with the old man, as does William.
If you haven't already, give Big Fish a try, especially if you're stressed out and just need a getaway.
In related book news, my "Currently Reading" portion of the sidebar is far from accurate. I put Galatea 2.2 aside because it just requires way too much brain power at the moment. I've read Preludes and Noctures and now Big Fish without ever changing the images. So, truthfully, I'm now reading The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly. I think I love this book already, and I'm only on page 50'ish. I feel sure it'll be a wild ride.


  1. OOOHHH!!! The Book of Lost Things is FANTASTIC! I can't wait to hear what you think of it. And yes, it is a wild, wild ride!

    I have Big Fish. I tried to start it, not too awful long ago, and put it aside. It still sits in my bathroom window. I was in the bath at the time and that was the closest surface to set it on. I'll have to get it out again. I have the movie too, but haven't watched it yet.

  2. Hi, Andi! I hope you're feeling at least a little bit better.


  3. I read two of the five books I chose for this. They were good books--even if I didn't quite manage the whole stack! Glad you found a book to take your mind off your cousin and being away from your family!

  4. I loved the ending of Big Fish too. And the beginning, and the middle :P I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    And enjoy The Book of Lost Things :)

  5. I haven't read this one, but I did see the film they made of it, which was very good.

  6. I really liked the Book of Lost Things, and Big Fish as well - though I saw the film version before I read the book (or was it the other way around?) and in one of them (I thought it was the book) the dad cheats and in the other he didn't. And I like it better when he didn't. (I have no idea if that's criticism of the book or the movie now!)

  7. I absolutely LOVED the film Big Fish (shed a tear every time!) and after your and Nymeth's reviews I am just about to head to the libray and borrow a copy!

    The Book of Lost Things is wonderful! I really hope you enjoy it.

  8. Heatheroo, it is SO VERY GOOD. I love love love it. I tried starting Big Fish a while back, too, and it just didn't click for me. Maybe the right mood will hit ya. It's a really quick read--a good slump buster I'd say.

    Thanks, Lezlie! Getting a little better each day. Nowhere to go but up!

    Thanks, Danielle. I didn't even put a dent in the books I own that fit Carl's theme, but the challenge has definitely primed me to read more!

    Nymeth, the book just gets better the more I think about it. As I'm looking back I see how the hints built up to that big ending, and I just love it all the more.

    Stu, I have the film on my Netflix list. I'm moving it nearer the top o'the stack for sure.

    LOL, Michelle, I would definitely like it better WITHOUT the cheating (he cheated in the book). I definitely could've done without that part.

    Enjoy the book, Mariel! Looking forward to what you think of it. And I'll keep you informed of what I think of the movie. :)

  9. I loved the film version of this and really do need to read the book at some point. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much.

  10. Thanks for the recommendation. I have this on my list to read for this year but might bump it up the pile as I need to escape for a bit with something light and fun.

  11. Finally got round to writing my review! Loved it, if only it had been longer!


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