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June 2, 2015 / Leslie

Review: Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

A Rapid Review

fishbowlFishbowl by Bradley Somer

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press | August 2015
Format: Hardcover | 304 Pages | Rating: 5 stars

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.”

As Ian the goldfish tumbles from his bowl on the balcony of the twenty-seventh floor and heads toward the ground below, he glimpses the sky, the pavement, and a snippet of the lives of the residents of the apartment building (the Seville) from which he is plunging.

But the story doesn’t begin with Ian falling—that doesn’t happen until a bit later. The story begins a half hour earlier with Katie who stops by the Seville to visit her boyfriend, Connor, who lives on the 27th floor. Unfortunately the elevator is broken and she must use the stairs. Meanwhile Conner is hurrying to clean up his messy apartment and get Faye out of his bed and the building without being seen and sends her down the stairs. At the same time Garth the construction worker is arriving home from work with a secret package; Petunia Delilah goes into premature labor in her apartment and her phone battery is dead; Claire, who fears leaving her apartment, loses her phone-sex job; and home-schooled Herman teleports his way through the building.

All-the-while Ian is tumbling from the twenty-seventh floor. We mark his progress with a little illustration of a goldfish on each page falling closer and closer to the bottom. If you fan through the pages like a flip-book, you can watch him fall.

This is a unique, quirky tale with well-developed, likable characters (even the cheating Connor has his good moments), and a clever writing style. Short, fast-paced chapters each begin with a fun and equally clever title. Chapters are written in alternating perspective of each of the residents with their stories overlaping to link together to form a larger picture of life in the apartment.

This was brilliant, different, and enjoyable. One of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Jun 2 2015 7:32 pm

    This sounds like such a unique story!


  2. Suko / Jun 2 2015 9:33 pm

    Leslie, this really sounds excellent! I enjoyed your rapid review.



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