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Fixed on Fiction

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

In December, FoF met to discuss Fishbowl by Bradley Somer-

At turns funny and heartbreaking, a goldfish names Ian escapes from his bowl and, plummeting toward the street below, witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. 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. There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. 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. Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had."

Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Fishbowl was very well received in our group, everyone gave it a thumbs up! Here are some of the comments readers made while discussing their reaction to this month’s selection:

  • I didn’t think I’d like it but I was surprised. I really got into everyone’s drama. A 7 out of 10.
  • I wasn’t thrilled with the first chapter, but it got better. Refreshing after Ghettoside. Garth’s package was a surprise and I loved that Jiminez and Garth just accepted each other.
  • I had a hard time in the beginning. I was thinking “oh no” during the first chapter but then I enjoyed it.
  • I liked it a lot. The “in which” chapters reminded me of Winnie the Pooh. I laughed out loud a lot.
  • I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the building. It reminded me of my condo downtown. These little vignettes are very real to me.
  • It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the book…but all of that happened in a half hour! Loved that the paramedic on the phone was Pig.
  • I just couldn’t relate to Ian the goldfish, but I got very involved in everyone’s story. I also loved the short chapters.
  • I LOVED it! So clever…the idea of going through life not knowing the intensity of everything. I was hooked at the first chapter and left wondering: “Where is this going?”
  • Nice to have a light book that was also clever. A good book to read during this time of the year when you’re really busy. Intelligent but light.

Other titles we are enjoying:

These are simply some of the highlights from our discussion. Feel free to leave additional thoughts on Fishbowl in the comments section below.


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