Genre: Adult Fiction, Magical Realism
Published October 1st 1998 by Algonquin Books
He could outrun anybody, and he never missed a day of school. He saved lives, tamed giants. Animals loved him. People loved him. Women loved him (and he loved them back). And he knew more jokes than any man alive.
Now, as he lies dying, Edward Bloom can’t seem to stop telling jokes -or the tall tales that have made him, in his son’s eyes, an extraordinary man. Big Fish is the story of this man’s life, told as a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts his son, William, knows. Through these tales -hilarious and wrenching, tender and outrageous- William begins to understand his elusive father’s great feats, and his great failings.
|Big Fish is just odd enough for me to truly enjoy it. The elements of fantasy and reality combining are truly something unique to Big Fish. Edward Bloom is a dying man who lived an extraordinary life, he tells tall tales and has spent most of his life traveling, his son William finds himself facing the reality that he doesn’t know his father – that he has never known his father and still as he lays dying in his bed still doesn’t know him.
Their relationship is complicated, to say the least, and you can almost feel William’s frustration with his father. Story after story is told while some seem realistic others are quite fantastical, but you can see beyond the tales for what they truly are.
I loved the movie, I thought it was splendid and this book was equally so, it made me feel for William as the son, distant from his father and lamenting the loss of a man he never really knew or did he? I also feel for Edward who always seemed to be a Big Fish in a little pond.
Extraordinary tales, a little drawn out, but extraordinary.
Have you read this novel? Have you seen the movie? Comment below with your thoughts.