Fishbowl by Bradley Somer– 304 pages
A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He’s longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.
My Review: 3.5 stars
Fishbowl is a unique take on a moment in time, what we see and what is really happening. It’s about the people we see and make snap judgments about but have no idea what’s really go on. Of course this is all shared from a goldfish’s point of view.
The stories of these quirky characters are unique in that they somehow bend their classic stereotypes into something we’re not expecting. Somer, the author, does a fabulous job connecting the storylines into a well-woven overall novel. Personally, I remember living in a large apartment building the in the city and I always created lives behind the daily rides up and down the elevators, seeing fellow residents in the hallways and sharing the same public space seemed a step closer than strangers. If I saw them out at a bar or restaurant, I certainly know them, but do I know them? This feeling is how I felt after finishing the book.
The theme of time and how we live in it versus how we experience it was heavily explored. It was an unlikely theme but it worked well in this book. Watching the fish fall on the sides of the pages in a flipbook manner was an added dose of whimsy. This book is reminiscent of Jacob’s Folly in which a fly is the narrator or The Art Of Racing in The Rain in which a dog narrates the story.
Quotes I liked:
Having a plan is the first step towards failure.”
-“Each printed letter is a simple symbol meaning nothing on it’s own. Combined, the letters words that also mean little without their neighbors. All of these words together, however, convey a greater meaning…”
-“She thought of how odd it was to offer ownership of parts of one’s body rather than a commitment of one’s feelings.”