Big Fish

big fishFriends and daughters have joined the bullet journal revolution, but I still keep my to-do lists in various places instead of in one neat, tidy notebook. For my to-read list, I use Goodreads. There was a time when I kept that list curated and manageable, but that time is past. Now when I read or hear about a book that looks interesting, I just go ahead and add it to my Goodreads bookshelf. Then I, usually, promptly forget why I added the book in the first place. And then, every once in a while, I look thru the list, see if the public library has any of the titles, and order one up. Such is the reason I recently read Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace

The narrator, William Bloom, is a young man coming to terms with his father Edward’s impending death. Edward hasn’t been around much for William, he is a travelling salesman and in the import/export business. He loved and provided for his family, but couldn’t bear to be tied down or stay in once place for long. So William seeks to explain and understand his father thru stories, family lore, and the tales of others. Big Fish refers to the fact that Edward always wanted to be a big fish, a person of consequence.

Isn’t that how any of us remember other people tho, as a myth? Our memories do just become a series of vignettes. My parents and grandparents are mostly known to my children as characters in a few oft-told tales. Edward became a myth in his own lifetime, unknown to his own son. I really enjoyed the book, but it did get me thinking that I’d rather leave solid, simple memories for my friends and family rather than a mythological legacy for future generations.

Wallace did a great job of writing the chapters in a very mythical style, if there is such a thing. This book was apparently made into a Tim Burton movie, I’d be curious to watch it and see how the mood of the book comes across on film. I did really enjoy this quick read, but now I am wondering how it got onto my to-read list in the first place…

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