Monday, 10 August 2015

"FishBowl" by Bradley Somer.

I received a copy of this title, via, in return for an honest review... 

Ian the Goldfish is on a journey of discovery. Falling from a rooftop of a 27 floor apartment block, he catches glimpses of the varied lives through the passing windows. The reader is treated to a deeper look at the lives of the residents of the building.

 Each chapter has a name (rather like each episode of the TV show, Friends) and each one is filled with the individual stories of a wonderfully diverse range of characters. A young couple who's ideas of a relationship vary immensely, a first time mother in labour, a woman who is afraid to leave her apartment, a young boy who is home-schooled, the lonely caretaker of the building, the construction worker with a secret and a visiting mistress. There is no connection between these people and they all close their apartment doors without knowing each other. 

As Ian floats past each window, he struggles to make sense of what is happening (goldfish memories not being the greatest) and the author cleverly describes the human world through the (dry) eyes of the fish.

 There are some of the most amazing pieces of prose dotted through this wonderful novel. It reminds me of a modern day James Joyce, with acute observations, wry humour and wit, combined with honest and endearing characters. Like 'Dubliners' without dwelling on the location of the apartment block or separating each chapter into short story form. There is a slight similarity, in style, to Nick Hornby's works, but this author brings a more literary edge to the table. An absolute joy to read.

This is a quirky read, full of wonderful characters and unique stories.  The lightness of Ian the Goldfish is balanced by some great writing and memorable moments.  Definitely worth buying, for the arty cover alone.

Here is the very slick book trailer...

Fishbowl is published by Ebury Press and is available in Hardback and ebook format.  You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage and 24% discount, here.  The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

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