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Big Fish

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  13,330 Ratings  ·  1,265 Reviews
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 t
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published 2004 by Pocket (first published 1998)
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Christian B "Big Fish" has a double meaning, also referring to fishermen who swear they caught a huge fish... but really it wasn't that big. In other words, tall…more"Big Fish" has a double meaning, also referring to fishermen who swear they caught a huge fish... but really it wasn't that big. In other words, tall tales, which was Edward Bloom's thing.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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TK421
Apr 01, 2010 TK421 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
You all probably remember the fantastically cheesy film Big Fish directed by Tim Burton. For me, it was pure visual and storytelling enjoyment.

But what you may not realize is that BIG FISH the novel towers over the movie. When I first bought a copy of this, just before they began releasing the movie coast-to-coast in 2003, I remember reading the back cover and thinking to myself: “Huh, a book about a man who doesn’t really know who his father is…how mundane.” O, how silly my thoughts were—this
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K.D. Absolutely
On the day I was born, there was a big typhoon. The water was seeping through the ceiling of the hospital room and there was a dripping pan catching the falling raindrops beside my mama’s bed. I was the youngest in the family and my papa did not bother to wait and see me right after I was born. I guess he was no longer excited to see another mouth to feed in addition to my two older brothers and a sister. Three days after my mama’s caesarian operation, my papa picked us up but the streets were s ...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، از آنجایی که قبل از خواندن این رمان، فیلمی با عنوانِ "ماهی بزرگ" به کارگردانی «تیم برتون» را سالها پیش دیده بودم، از همان آغازِ خواندن، به راحتی، خط به خط کتاب را درک میکردم
در زمانِ خواندن، تمامی کتاب برای من حکم یک سری داستان های خیالی و به نوعی به یکدیگر متصل را داشت، تا اینکه به انتهای کتاب رسیدم... متوجه موضوع جالبی شدم: از دیدگاه من نویسنده، آقای <والاس>، با انتخاب پسر و پدر، به نوعی قصد داشت دوباره به بحث استوره (اسطوره) برسد. چراکه در ابتدای داستان میخوانیم که پسر ت
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Diane Barnes
Feb 23, 2017 Diane Barnes rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of magical realism, but if it's done well, by an author who can make you believe in anything, just by the quality of his writing, it can be something special. "Big Fish" did that for me. I was under Daniel Wallace's spell from the first word. I guess a lot of people feel that way, because it has been turned into a film and a Broadway production.
sweet jane
Jan 19, 2016 sweet jane rated it really liked it
Υπάρχουν άνθρωποι στη ζωή μας, που παρόλο που τους αγαπάμε, γνωρίζουμε ελάχιστα για αυτούς. Έτσι, όταν εκείνοι φεύγουν, χρειαζόμαστε μια ιστορία να κρατηθούμε και τότε δημιουργούμε το δικό μας, δικό τους, παραμύθι.

Το Big Fish είναι μια τέτοια ιστορία. Ο Γουίλιαμ βλέπει τον πατέρα του να φεύγει από την ζωή και καταλαβαίνει ότι δεν ξέρει σχεδόν τίποτα για εκείνον. Η πολύωρη εργασία και οι φιλοδοξίες του τον κράτησαν μακρυά από την οικογένεια του και έδωσαν στο γιο του την εντύπωση ενός μυθικού αλλ
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Selene
Jul 21, 2016 Selene rated it liked it
BookTube-A-Thon Challenege 2016 #3
Read a book you discovered through BookTube. (I found this over with Ashley from saidthestory).

BookTube-A-Thon Challenege 2016 #6 Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.
AMEERA
Jun 03, 2016 AMEERA rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
I'm glad to read this amazing book actually more than book teach you more stuff and nothing impossible in this life but just don't give up and finally my favorite book this year
Jeffrey
Jul 04, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: popular-fiction
Please, read this book. Once in a while, like The Five People You Meet in Heaven, comes a book that is original, full of wonder, Chronicle of Narneish, so full of meaning and beauty that all must buy it, read it, and pass it on. This is perfection. Oh, also see the Tim Burton version of this. As a matter of fact, just see all of Burton's movies. How else to do such a story? Great!
Amanda
Jan 30, 2009 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 11, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who liked the film
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: tom - thanks
Edward Bloom is dying. But he's taking his time about it. Time enough, in fact, to have four run ups to the actual event itself and to recount the varied adventures, myths and fables which have attached themselves to the Bloom name since not long after he was born. For son, William Bloom, having a legend for a father is not easy. Firstly it's a lot to live up to but, there's also the problem that no one knows where the fairy tale that is Edward Bloom's history ends and the reality begins.

Edward
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Brooke
Nov 13, 2015 Brooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
I have seen the movie adaptation of this book over a dozen times and it still remains one of my absolute favorites. I was a little reluctant to pick up the book because of my love for the film, but it's shortness and urge to revisit a wonderful story changed my mind. The message is the same in the book as it is in the movie; remembrance through stories. Though the book was different I still really enjoyed it!
Elaine
Apr 26, 2017 Elaine rated it really liked it
My introduction to Big Fish was through the movie over 12 yrs ago. I really enjoyed it. I remembered it as a fun and sort of lighthearted tale with an underbelly of serious lessons to be learned. While I am not a big fan of fairy tales I do enjoy folk tales. I grew up listening to my very southern grandfather tell me how he rigged up matchboxes full of dirt for large beetles to pull and how he "shot a bear off a horse". I am no stranger to a "whopper". When being told a whopper your job as the l ...more
Xueting
I had the great fortune and pleasure to have Daniel Wallace as my Intro to Fiction writing professor this spring at Chapel Hill. He was thoughtful, funny and most of all very sweet to all of us in the class. And I could feel his sentimental kinda old soul in the words of this book.

So the story is made up of vignettes or short stories, the structure has a 'purpose' that I don't know how to capture without sounding too flimsy-fantastic, and fantasy's not all it is. To me it's important not just t
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Susan Tunis
Apr 06, 2013 Susan Tunis rated it it was amazing
My father is a fish

My best friend is a little obsessive about reading the novel before seeing the film. Not so, me. I’m a bit more laissez faire in these matters. I saw and thoroughly enjoyed Tim Burton’s 2003 adaptation of Big Fish, and didn’t think too much more about it. Fast forward a decade, and I hear that a major, Broadway-bound musical is on the way. Now I know it’s time to return to the source material.

In the past, it has occurred to me that I have an overdeveloped sense of whimsy. I’m
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Jessica
Jul 19, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

It's hard to read a book when you've been a huge fan of the movie for years, and that was the case with this book. Big Fish is one of my absolute favorite movies, so in my mind, it was just expressed and elaborated slightly better in the movie.

big fish photo: Big Fish BF4.gif

The book was still a good, quick read, and of course, I just adore the ending. <3
Julanne Wicks
This book. Was wonderful. I started it yesterday, and probably would have finished it way earlier today if I hadn't had work. It's a very quick read, and left me feeling refreshed and ready for more, sad to see it end but feeling fulfilled.
Shoa Khan
Mar 18, 2015 Shoa Khan rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is the story of Edward Bloom, who is dying, narrated by his son, who in turn takes the tale to mythic proportions (as suggested by the subtitle).
This is quite a short read seeped in wonder, legend and magic realism.
Melika
Jul 24, 2015 Melika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
خاص بود؟! آره. اولش رو هم خیلی خوب شروع کرد و تا چندین و چند صفحه خیلی خوب پیشرفت و هی آدم میخواد بیشتر بدونه ولی وسطاش تا نزدیک ِ انتهاش یه حالت ِ خنثی ِ بدی داشت. یعنی اون جذبه ی اول ِ کتاب به کل ناپدید شده بود. توی اون صفحات آسون نمیشد ادامش داد ولی در کل خوب بود.
Abby
Dec 07, 2008 Abby marked it as to-read
I think the guy who plays the main character in this movie is attractive, but I forgot his name. If that's not a good reason to read the book, then I don't know what is.
Phyllis
Mar 23, 2008 Phyllis rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sue
Recommended to Phyllis by: Dodie
While I was reading this book, I kept wondering if I liked it. It seems the more I read, the better it was, especially
at the end, which made me smile. It wasn't until the end
of the book, that it made sense in it's entirity. I loved
the ending in this book. All the mythology and exaggeration,
made me question the value of the story, at first I only
seemed to attend to the father/son conversations that I felt
were real and poignant. Little by little, I started to appreciate Wallace's use of mythology
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Asghar Abbas
Oct 13, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it

A novel with a BIG heart; tailor-made for Tim Burton and he totally made a movie out of it.

Read it.
Hana
Feb 15, 2015 Hana marked it as to-read
Recommended to Hana by: Mike Sullivan
Shelves: family-saga
True story. My grandfather was an incurable joker. Also an incurable smoker. He always joked to his doctors that "It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in!"

The day after he died in the early 1960s the whole family was sitting in the living room remembering him when the telephone rang. My uncle answered and came back laughing but with the tears streaming down his face.

"What? What is it?"

"They asked for Joe. I...I said he wasn't available. They said to tell h
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Altay Aktar
Feb 22, 2017 Altay Aktar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bir adamın anlattığı hikâyelerin hatırlanması o adamı ölümsüz kılar, bunu biliyor muydun bakalım?"
Sunshine Manuli
Aug 19, 2014 Sunshine Manuli rated it it was amazing
Not only is "big Fish" a simple story about life and death , but also it is a story about the relationship between a son and a father. Every single human being has stories to be told which in fact belong to us as a part of our life , but everyone of Edward's stories told by his son William forms a "novel of mythic proportions" as the title suggests. Persuading giants, helping people, taming wild dogs and other heroic acts, William thinks that he does not really know who his father is, just only ...more
Arghavan
Feb 18, 2014 Arghavan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arghavan by: Armina
Shelves: داریم
ورژنِ تیم برتون ش رو دوستتر میداشتم. داستانِ زندگیِ ادوارد رو پیوستهتر نشون دادهبود؛ و یه اپیزودِ داستان رو به همون اپیزود محدود نکردهبود؛ شخصیتها از بخشِ خودشون سرک میکشیدن به بخشهای دیگه. و خب فانتزیتر و کیوتتر بود؛ ضمنِ این که من اون رو خیلی وقت پیش دیدم و ضمنِ این که اساساً تیم برتون خداست.
این، یه مقدار فصلهاش گسستهتر بود. جای بازیهای عـالیِ فیلم، توصیفها و تشبیههای خوب داشت. فضا رو یه مقدار دراماتیکتر کردهبود جای فانتزیِ تیمبرتونی. ولی مسلماً درنوعِ خودش خیلی خوب بود این هم. هرچند که با تقر
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Kandice
Mar 17, 2010 Kandice rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. I've loved the movie for years, never knowing it was a book first. The story is about Edward Bloom, as told through his son William's memories, while Edward lays at death's door. Edward's life is part myth, part truth and part lie, but his life in it's entirety is all charm. He was born a big fish in a little pond. His stories are all big fish stories, and William has been dragged like a fish with a hook in it's mouth his entire life, hanging on for the punchline of each o ...more
Bonnie
‘[...] I thought of him suddenly, and simply, as a boy, a child, a youth, with his whole life ahead of him, much as mine was ahead of me. I’d never done that before. And these images — the now and then of my father — converged, and at that moment he turned into a weird creature, wild, concurrently young and old, dying and newborn.
My father became a myth.’


Edward Bloom is an enigma of a man that has always told only the most elaborate yet unbelievable tales of his life. He is a traveling busines
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Derek
Sep 03, 2013 Derek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been told that each book, if it knows what it's doing, informs you how it should be read; few demonstrate that better than Daniel Wallace's Big Fish, an arguably "unconventional" novel that traffics in allegory as much as it does traditional literary fiction. But this thing is a fucking triumph, by nearly every measure.

Much has been made already of the chapter in which Edward leaves home, and I'll second anyone who refers to that chapter as the book's crowning achievement. Just one passage
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Jeanne
Jun 20, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
This is a short little book but powerful nonetheless. William Bloom is at the bedside of his dying father, a father who wasn't home much and who seemed to hide his true self through telling jokes and tall tales. William desperately wants to "know" his father, to get past the stories and discover the real person. Instead, up to the end, his father uses humor and evasion to avoid establishing a deeper relationship. The book mainly consists of the amazing and unbelievable stories Edward has created ...more
Kim
Oct 22, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The movie that was based on this book is one of my favourites so it was with some trepidation that I finally picked this up. Would it hold up? Would I be disappointed? Well it turns out I was a bit of both and more.

Firstly there is no real structure to this book. It has a lose frame for various stories and moments of the narrator and his fathers' lives. The movie is more linear but that's to be expected. A movie that plays out the same way as the book just wouldn't work. I also feel the movie g
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Daniel Wallace is author of five novels, including Big Fish (1998), Ray in Reverse (2000), The Watermelon King (2003), Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician (2007), and most recently The Kings and Queens of Roam (2013).

He has written one book for children, Elynora, and in 2008 it was published in Italy, with illustrations by Daniela Tordi. O Great Rosenfeld!, the only book both written and illustra
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“When a man's stories are remembered, then he is immortal.” 121 likes
“Dreams are what keep a man going.” 49 likes
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