Fishbowl: A Novel – Bradley Somer
Fiction – Contemporary
Published August 4, 2015 by St. Martin’s Press
I’m not really sure what I thought about this book. Yes, it was adorable and I kept turning the pages because I needed to know what would happen, but I never connected. I was aware I was reading a book and never got lost in the pages…if that makes any sense.
So What’s It About
A goldfish named Ian longs for a life of adventure. So when opportunity arises, he flings himself off of the balcony that his fishbowl sits on the 27th floor. As he finds himself airborne he witnesses the lives of the fellow building residents.
The novel then follows the lives of a grad student and his doting girlfriend, a construction worker and building super, the pregnant woman on bed rest, the woman afraid to face the world, and poor poor Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Throughout the time it takes for Ian to plummet 27 stories, all of these people will connect in some way and make life altering decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
First the good! This book was extremely clever and I loved the structure. Very much a feel-good book it knew exactly when to tug at the heartstrings and when to make me laugh out-loud from the the quirkiness. Every character had a solid development and resolution. I definitely enjoyed reading about some characters than about others but they were all unique and had their own voice. Really there were some characters I never cared for, I’m looking at you building superintendent and whiny child, but they all interacted in a way that kept me interested.
Now the okay! While this book was good it wasn’t great for me. The cleverness couldn’t hide the fact that I never felt invested in the characters lives. The stories I didn’t care about seemed to drag. There just isn’t much for me to say about this book because I never cared. The characters stayed characters and in the book, their stories didn’t stay with me once I was done reading. I think part of this has to do with the multiple perspectives retelling the same situation.
“It’s wonderful because it’s like peeking into the universe and understanding a tiny bit of its complexity. It’s also horrible because a little bit of magic is removed from the world with each discovery.”
No, but I do think if anyone is looking for a read that’s clever and unique in structure to definitely give this a try.