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.
*Side note - A big fish is someone important or influential.*
If you ever watched the cheesy 2003 Tim Burton version of Big Fish, then you are sure to be in for so much more of an adventure while reading the book. Like many book-to-movie adaptations, this book reigns supremely over its movie. I loved it. I absolutely loved it.
Edward Bloom is old and dying. His son, William Bloom, is trying to piece together his mysterious father's life, but is finding it to be quite a difficult task. Edward had always told his son many tall-tales and fantastical stories that made his past seem extravagant. But how extravagant was it really? Just who was this man he had known as "Father"?
The story is told in snippets of old memories, childhood stories, and legends told to William by his father while growing up. However, he finds that truth and fiction are mangled together, and learning to discern the two proves to be much harder than William ever thought. The reader is thrown into bounds and leaps of fantastical environments and colorful, imaginative stories.
Big Fish is filled with whimsy, and a humored sense of distrust. One in which the reader tries their best to choose which story is true and which is false. In fact, there are four written ways that Edward Bloom died. I suppose choosing which you think happened is part of the mythic atmosphere of the book. In my opinion, the book's moments of open interpretations made it even more unique and wholly more charming.
Edward Bloom's life showed that life in general is about the journey, not the destination. The book focused on Edward's strange relationship with William, but focused more on the paternal love that was yearned and worked for between father and son. One that many of us may relate to.
Wallace's narration was incredibly distinctive and, more distinctively, very Southern. Quite frankly, the writing was easy- going and charmed my socks off. I suppose that I gave Big Fish 4.5/5 stars because towards the end, I wanted pages to magically keep appearing. They didn't. If you enjoy brief, satisfying novels that make you think, just pick up Big Fish. I'll never stop recommending this title. You won't regret it. Big Fish is a tale of "mythic proportions".
"He hides behind lies and charm. I do not know him. My father is a fish."