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Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions Paperback – May 15, 2012
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“A charming whopper of a tale.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Both comic and poignant.” —The New York Times“Refreshing, original . . . Wallace mixes the mundane and the mythical. His chapters have the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A comic novel about death, about the mysteries of parents and the redemptive power of storytelling.” —USA Today
“An audacious, highly original debut novel . . . An imaginative, and moving, record of a son’s love for a charming, unknowable father.” —Kirkus Reviews
From the Back Cover
“A charming whopper of a tale.” ―The San Diego Union-Tribune
In his prime, Edward Bloom was an extraordinary man. He could outrun anybody. He never missed a day of school. He saved lives and tamed giants. Animals loved him, people loved him, women loved him. He knew more jokes than any man alive. At least that’s what he told his son, William. But now Edward Bloom is dying, and William wants desperately to know the truth about his elusive father―this indefatigable teller of tall tales―before it’s too late. So, using the few facts he knows, William re-creates Edward’s life in a series of legends and myths, through which he begins to understand his father’s great feats, and his great failings. The result is hilarious and wrenching, tender and outrageous.
“Refreshing, original . . . Wallace mixes the mundane and the mythical. His chapters have the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A comic novel about death, about the mysteries of parents and the redemptive power of storytelling.” ―USA Today
“Highly original . . . An imaginative, and moving, record of a son’s love for a charming, unknowable father.” ―Kirkus Reviews
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So, I think you need to set aside your movie expectations and read this one without comparison. Don't go with the cliche and over used, "the book is always better than the movie" or the "I am a huge Tim Burton fan"! Set the movie aside and read this for what it is ... a magical fairy tail!
This is a 3-star book with 5-star writing. You can read this book in a single setting. If your experience is like mine, you return to the book to re-read a section or find a paragraph. Walk away, and the "away" time allows the book to filter or percolate. You'll return and re-read a chapter and experience both the chapter and the book in a different way.
The father of a friend of mine passed away in the last months of 2012. During the summer, my friend interviewed his dad and recorded his oral history. My friend told me the stories contained in the oral history and kept saying, "I didn't know that. I never knew."
My friend's comments over lunch were more poignant than the book. The lunch setting and the stories and jokes were superior to Big Fish.
Nevertheless, Big Fish has a big lesson for men and boys and has excellent writing.