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FISH TANK: A Fable for Our Times

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  46 reviews
FISH TANK is an insightful allegory about the human condition, tackling issues of politics and power, limited resources and climate change.

FISH TANK is the ANIMAL FARM for our times.
--Dr. Pete Coppolillo, Ecologist

FISH TANK is a clever and fascinating fable that provides an insightful mirror on the folly of current human attitudes concerning climate change and global degr
Paperback, 150 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by MountainWorks Press (first published January 18th 2012)
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4.04  · 
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 ·  72 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received an autographed copy of this book to review. :D I feel so special that an author would like to know my thoughts on a book they've written. :D

I liked this book. I was so into this book while I was on the train that I got lost on the way home, which shouldn't have even happened because I travel weekly. O_o I got back home really late. I'm glad I made it home because I had no idea where I was and unfortunately for me there were no people around when I finally realized I was lost and got o
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I am a big fan of half stars and in this case, I would actually give this book 4.5 stars ... just sayin' ...

Fish Tank is an allegorical tale about how various fish species with both complementary and competing needs are faced with an environmental crisis and must come together to ensure their survival. This book has drawn comparisons to George Orwell's Animal Farm and I think that this is a fair comp
Robert Beatty
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book on Amazon. It's a clever and fascinating analysis (in the form of an enjoyable aquarium fable) on the psychology of individuals in a community dealing with the issues of limited resources, sustainability, corruption, science vs superstition, the observable but "unproven" threat of impending shortages, fear mongering vs blind optimism, selflessness / selfishness, duty and political manipulation. The cover and binding is highly professional looking, but I have to say that I thin ...more
Steven Gilbert
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book immensely. It was a quick read with a powerful, thought-provoking message. Recommended for all ages and anyone interested in, to quote the author, leaving our children the world they deserve.
Nancy Flinchbaugh
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This fable portrays the times in which we live through the eyes of the fish. Their frustrations, actions, conversations and experiences felt hauntingly familiar to me as I read. Greed, disbelief, inertia, and ignoring the obvious are all part of our 21st century life. As our climate heats, we’re all in this together, so I love the image of the fish tank, a symbol of planet earth. What will it take to awaken us? Can we do better than the fish? For this I hope, I write, I work. Thank you, Scott Bi ...more
Nancy Lewis
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A fairly transparent fable about climate change deniers
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally on my blog guiltless reading

A fable about coming together to solve a problem.

The book in one sentence: The inhabitants of the fish tank come together to solve the issue of depleting food supplies.

My two cents: Here's what I was expecting based on the synopsis, the author's note, and the slew of glowing testimonies at the beginning of the book:

1. In your face preaching about global warming. More advocacy than story.
2. A Finding Nemo copycat? Hmmm, let's see.
3. Academic cover! Errr .
Laura | What's Hot?
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fish Tank has been hailed as a modern day Animal Farm, a fantastic novel, so I was immediately interested in reading it. Instead of taking place on a farm, this story takes place in a small aquarium owned by a Professor Brown. The story goes that Professor Brown is given the opportunity to take a year long sabbatical in Australia to save a rare species of seahorse. However, this means that he has to leave his beloved aquarium at home in the hands of Augustus, a lazy man who is only interested in ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, fiction
The first thing I see when opening the cover of Fish Tank by Scott Bischke are blurbs from other reviews, several of which compare the book to Orwell's Animal Farm. While it's a valid point, it feels like a cross between Animal Farm, The Lorax, and "Finding Nemo." In fact, the connection to “Finding Nemo” felt so strong that it was hard picture the characters and events in the book as anything other than cute computer-animated fish.

This is very unfortunate because the message contained in the no
Kristine Hansen
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: allegory
The tale of the fishtank puts our world in microcosm and asks us to consider the effects of global warming on our environment - and what our responsibility is in regards to it.

While I'm a fan of a good allegorical tale, this particular parable is definitely on the heavy-handed side. Did the author capture the various typical responses of the populace? Undoubtedly. And I even agree on the importance of the topic. Considering our environment and our responsibility to the next generation is certai
Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it
"Fish Tank" is a fairly clever story, akin to the old Aesop's Fables, told through the voices of fish in an aquarium. It's meant to be a parody of people who think environmental dangers, if real, can be addressed at some point in the future, and need not be a concern for today.

In this very short and easy to read book, the fish in the aquarium begin to recognize that their environment is beginning to worsen. Some of the more intelligent fish recognize that the aquarium management has been left i
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I did something that I never do after reading the first chapter of this book. I had such a bad feeling about the gaze that the turtle gave the professor that I flipped to the last couple of pages to read how it would end. I was surprised that I cared so much about the animals in the fish tank already. I read the whole book in order after that because knowing the outcome made me more curious as to how things got that way.

The story is quick to read and very entertaining. I could easily relate to
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

With that said, Wow...WOW!

Have you ever had the pleasure of listening to a full orchestra that plays perfectly and never misses a beat? One that brings you to another place and leaves you thinking about the important things in life? If not, this book will give you that same feeling!

Poignant and captivating from the very first page, Bischke is able to weave a tale of warning to all who are willing to listen.

There are only two h
Angelina Justice
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This would be a great selection for a middle school English or Science class. The writing is forthright and easy enough for even struggling readers.

The book was written as an allegory for our current social battle concerning global warming but it contains the reasons for the battle if the readers discuss and explore.

Cognitive dissonance features strongly in this book, although it is not labeled as such. As with many societal ills, present and historical, cognitive dissonance is a larger than lif
Jennifer  Ricketts (Donnie Darko Girl)
My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book for review.

Wow, I don't want to sound cliche, but I absolutely and positively could not put this book down! I read it in one night and thought about the messages within the story with a smile for a long time afterward.

I knew the book was going to deal with politics and the environment but wasn't entirely sure what the plot of the book was going to be like. The ambiguity of the plot really intrigued me from the start. Once I finished re
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I failed to win a copy on goodreads, but was offered a damaged copy which I was grateful to receive.

As a Baby Boomer, I remember my Mother reading Aesop's Fables to me, before I was able to read. I also read fables to my daughter, before she could read.

The fable was the perfect choice for this book as it will appeal to all age groups. My Daughter was an early reader and I believe she would have been able be able to read this book and benefit from the lessons learned by the ti
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I received Fish Tank from the author after not winning it in a First Reads giveaway. Now that's my kind of a contest! The generosity of the author notwithstanding, the message of Fish Tank is that we are not living in an "everybody wins" kind of world. Quite the contrary. This novella seeks to demonstrate that through the pursuit of short-sighted self interests it is far more likely that everybody loses.

Fish Tank is intended as an allegory of climate change. The connections are clear (eg, Hanso
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I received an autographed copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I have not decided how many stars to give this book. The only books that receive 5 stars are those that speak to me in a way relevant to the current circumstances in my life, and this was not one of those very rare books. This book is above 3 stars and less than 4 stars for me.

I definitely enjoyed it. It was written to be easily read in order to raise awareness about climate change. As I was reading it, the book
Donna Parker
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Is there a rating higher than 5? I'd give this book a 10 out of 5. Fish Tank may be described as a fable for our times, but I felt it was more like a horror story; however one with hope. People have a unique ability to learn from the mistakes of others, but we also seem to have an amazing ability to ignore what we have learnt. We also appear to listen to people only when we like the answers and do what is right if it isn't too difficult. I think Fish Tank should be required reading in schools, a ...more
David Ketelsen
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers and parents
This book is about a rag-tag group of aquarium dwellers that were grouped together by Professor Brown to keep his endangered seahorses company. When the professor gets an unexpected offer of a paid year long sabbatical to Australia, he jumps at the chance but has to leave his beloved aquarium in the hands of a lazy handyman whose stewardship is haphazard and unreliable. How Professor Brown's fish (and crabs, seahorses, shrimp, etc) react to their suddenly perilous existence is the basis of this ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
In FISH TANK: A Fable For Our Times, Bischke’s diverse array of aquatic life band together as an entertaining motley crew, to save their home and their collective lives from the perils of unfortunate events that threaten their environment and ultimately their future. I received FISH TANK as a gift from the author through goodreads first-reads and found it to be highly accessible and cleverly told.

There’s no question that Scott Bischke’s intent in writing FISH TANK was clearly to bring awareness
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Scott, for a chance to read your book! I'm excited about the topic and can't wait to dive right in (no pun intended!) :-)!

I just loved this book. Yes, I may be one of those people that are taken in immediately by cute talking animals, but this book was so much more then that! I loved the fish characters and loved how their aquarium life was presented. Each fish had a particular personality and role within the story that you could easily extrapolate to more than just the current issue o
Scott Bischke
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
From the Author--

FISH TANK exists for a simple reason: to engage people—via a hopefully captivating story—in thinking about the critical issue of our times, climate change. My ultimate goal for the book is to help change society’s discussion from one of denial and “Who cares?” to one of understanding and “What can I do?” The success or failure of that goal, of course, rests with its readers. But for me, I am certain of one thing: I want to leave the next generation and generations to come the wo
Scott Bischke
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
From the Author--

FISH TANK exists for a simple reason: to engage people—via a hopefully captivating story—in thinking about the critical issue of our times, climate change. My ultimate goal for the book is to help change society’s discussion from one of denial and “Who cares?” to one of understanding and “What can I do?” The success or failure of that goal, of course, rests with its readers. But for me, I am certain of one thing: I want to leave the next generation and generations to come the w
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this was a simple little book, but wonderful and sweet, it reminded me of my beloved Lorax, most recently of horribly bastardized movie adaptation...ecologically cautionary yes, and an important message...i would not say it it speaks in high prose, but then i don't think it should...its sweet simplicity is its's subtitle refers to it as a fable, and i agree wholeheartedly with that categorization....i feel this would make a wonderful addition to perhaps a middle school unit on climate ...more
Cathy Doman
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is really a good book! It is indeed a "fable for our times", as the cover states. You can read it as a great story, with characters you can relate to, and leave it at that, going on your merry way. Or, you can take to heart the deeper message, which is that each one of us has a responsibility to those around us, and to future generations, to take care of the world we have been given. We should not live selfishly, ignoring warnings of danger, thinking we won't be affected. We need to c ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I got a free copy of this book from the author through goodreads.

The book is a very simplistic allegory for the global climate change debate. It's not a book that engages you with plot or characters, but is more didactic in nature. I see this being a good tool to discuss gloabl climate change in a school setting. I don't see an adult picking up this book and changing their mind about how they already feel about climate change. As I was reading I had fun translating the story points into the very
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
Scott Bischke's Fish Tank is a creative take on a very real problem that will appeal to people of all ages. Children will immediately be drawn to the various sea creatures living inside the aquarium struggling to save themselves, while adults will understand the underlining message within the story. Fish Tank is an entertaining story, a conversation starter, and a serious environmental warning, all tucked neatly inside the covers of a book. For me, the words at the start of the book sum up what ...more
Tudi Brown
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Fish Tank is not only an observation about our role in climate change, but a commentary about how everyone has a role in society. We need to work together to accomplish changes although it will never happen that we all work together. From the beginning of the story I was curious how Professor Brown would handle Augustus in the end but Bischke doesn't address his fate, the fate of the one who pushed the tank into their dilemma. It leaves me feeling a little empty knowing that bad deeds go unpunis ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Professor must leave his beloved fish tank in the hand of Augustus "Against Us" for a year while he goes to save some endangered seahorses near Australia. Augustus rigs up a feeding barrel so that he does not have to make weekly trips to take care of the fish tank. The food levels are going down faster than expected and a crack is developing in the corner of the tank as the temperature of the water increases. Follow the desperation and actions the aquarium occupants take to survive while wai ...more
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Who do the characters in FISH TANK represent? 1 6 May 21, 2012 12:22PM  
__I am a writer and a reader.
__I have lived with my wife through her recurrent cancer, and have shared with her the joy--post cancer--of walking 3,000 miles along the Continental Divide.
__I express myself best in writing, though friends will tell you that I am hard to shut up.
__I have special love of a special place, Montana.
__I have never experienced writer's block.
__I am a chemical engineer (