Saturday, October 04, 2008

Big Fish - Daniel Wallace

Rating : 3.0/5
Number of Pages : 180
Reason for Reading : Challenge with Nymeth

Big Fish tells the story of a father and a son. Edward Bloom is dying and his son William is trying to say his goodbyes to him, a father he feels he barely knows. Edward has always seemed hidden from him behind his never ending stories and jokes. He was away a lot and was not always faithful to his wife. William is struggling to understand the man who has been his father and form a bond with him before it is too late.

Many of Edward's mini stories and it seems he is something of a legend. He has bought a town, saved his sons life twice, commmunicated with animals and nearly caught a giant catfish swimming in the lake. You spend time wondering which tales are fact, which are fiction and which are a mixture of the two and wondering whether ultimately it really matters. It ends with William telling his story of his fathers death and how it transformed him. Here he has learnt what his father has been trying to teach him: persevernce, ambition, personailty, optimism, strength, intelligence and imagination. Much of it looks at Edward feeling like abig fish in a very small pond and wanting to escape and make thebest of himself. This is also something he wants to pass on to his son.

I have not seen the film so I cannot say if was adapted well. The novel though was well written in short, seemingly easy to digest chapters. It is one that stays in the mind and the different stories within it chase each others tails. It was very surreal in places and I think this is one that will grow on me with a second and third reading. It is a very difficult book to describe and summarise in all honesty, but like I said it is one that stays in the mind long after the last page has been finished which can only be a good thing.

8 comments:

Nicola said...

I just have one thing to say: "WATCH THE MOVIE". It's fabulous.

Trish said...

I completely agree with Nicola. I watched the movie before read the book and the book just doesn't compare at all (although that sometimes happens when I really love a movie then try to read the book--that's how I felt about Stardust as well).

DesLily said...

I thought the movie was really good! Watch it if you have a chance!

(when do we get a New York review? )

Nymeth said...

I think this book is a grower, yes. I enjoyed it so much more the second time around. And you do have to watch the movie! It expands the story quite a bit and visually it's just stunning. Initially I liked it more than the book. And even now that Daniel Wallace has grown into one of my favourite authors I can't decide which one I prefer.

Robin said...

I liked the book AND the movie, which is unusual for me because I usually like the book versions better. But Nymeth is right, the film is visually stunning and so well done. Both grow on you!

Ladytink_534 said...

I've been meaning to read this book and then re-watch the movie.

mariel said...

I loved this book and film! I totally agree with Nymeth about initially liking the film more, but the book does grow on you.

I warn you though, Ewan McGregor is in this film..I know how much you like him!

Andi said...

I agree with you, this one is very hard to describe. I was a little iffy about the book right up until the end, but the last bit was just stunning. Really lovely.