Wow, I’ve made a big mistake. I waited way too damn long to read this book. Fishbowl by Bradley Somer came out in 2015, has won a bunch of awards since then, and I still didn’t read it until last week, right before I was slated to talk about it on the radio. What was I thinking? I even talked to the author myself a few months ago, and in my head I thought “I really need to read that book” but other things just kept getting in the way. Well thankfully I picked it up a few days ago, and I’ve ripped right through it once I realized how amazing it is.
It’s got a really interesting premise; it takes place over the span of about half an hour (with a few flashbacks thrown in for good measure), and details the lives of a select few apartment dwellers in a particular building. It’s all brought together by the fact that a goldfish named Ian (love that name!) is falling from the top floor balcony of the building, and is witnessing each character for a split second within their apartments. Each story spins off from there, and we cycle through each story in short chapters, many of them ending with exciting cliffhangers that keep the reader pushing through the pages.
I’m so impressed with this book for a few reasons. One is that the writing is really good, it’s fun and descriptive, but doesn’t get in the way of the story, because plot is a big player in this book. Second is that the characters are thoroughly fleshed out, and we finish the book caring deeply about each and everyone one of them. Third, Somer has chosen just enough story lines to keep us engaged, but not too many to confuse us. Fourthly (is that a word?) the storyline itself has something for everyone; there are sexy times, there are sad times, there are really funny times, there are quirky times that made me secretly smile on public transit, the list goes on.
I’m so embarrassed that it took me this long to read this book because Somer lives in Calgary, he’s a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and so many people told me how great the book was, but I still didn’t pick it up. It’s been sold in a bunch of countries, and people in Poland are reading and enjoying Fishbowl, but it still took me over a year to read this, even though it was written right in my own city. This is why reading local is so important, because supporting the authors that live around you benefits not only them, but your whole community, especially when amazing books like this are being written in your own backyard. Seriously, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like this book, and I don’t think I’ve ever stated that on this blog before, so you know I mean business. What are you waiting for???? Go buy this book now.