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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,104 ratings  ·  542 reviews
At turns funny and heartbreaking, a goldfish named Ian escapes from his bowl and, plummeting toward the street below, witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 1st 2015)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,104 ratings  ·  542 reviews

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Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
This book reminds me just a bit of Elegance of the Hedgehog, it attracted my attention with the quirky concept of a fish narrating a story while falling from the top of a 27 ft apartment complex.

I absolutely loved this book. It's definitely the most fun book with some of the most endearing characters that I have read in 2015.

Ian lives with a grad student, Connor, who lives a self absorbed and oversexed life. As Ian continues his fall he describes the scenes that flash by him and are shortly fo
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Oh, the lives that are lived behind the myriad doors of an apartment building, Seville on Roxy. Claire is a stone cold agoraphobic who works the telephone in a most surprising way. Jimenez, the building super, waters the silk plants in the foyer, fixes leaky faucets, clogged toilets, and ill-advisedly tries to repair a faulty elevator. There is a grandpa with an old man's swollen hands, his fingers 'warped from a lifetime of use'. These and others are all about to make some momentous decisions t ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really enjoyed Fishbowl. It's clever - in a good way. The book opens with Ian -- a goldfish -- falling from the balcony of a high rise apartment. We are told that this is actually what happens at the end of the story and that we will find out at end how Ian came to be in a free fall. The rest of the book consists of numerous short chapters told from the perspectives of a number of residents and visitors of the high rise. The story spans no more than 30 minutes before Ian starts his free fall. ...more
Betsy Robinson
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
{8/14/18 Reposting because this is such spectacular writing, and I have many more GR friends now than when I first read this delightful novel.}

Fishbowl is the magnificent tale of a fish's fall from a top-floor balcony and of all the apartment building's inhabitants' up-and-down-the-stairs travails. "Delicious" is the first word that comes to mind to describe Bradley Somer's exquisite prose. He expands moments, detailing fleeting actions or sensations. Here's a taste:
Garth draws a deep breath to
Elyse Walters
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A school bus ran over Conner's dog, Ian. Katie felt sorry for him and bought him a goldfish
named Ian.

"Deep down, subconsciously, Conner has grown to believe than Ian the goldfish is
spiritually linked to Ian the dog, perhaps even to the extent that the fish is the

This is an odd- quirky- unique-story about a FISH --named *Ian*--who longs for freedom and adventure ... ( like many of us do).
Ian escapes his fishbowl -- clears the balcony railing - tumbling towards the street from th
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quirky novel takes place in one, high rise, apartment block – the Seville, on Roxy – where a goldfish named Ian has a perilous plunge from the 27th floor balcony…. As the author narrates the events which led up to Ian’s escape from the bowl he shares with Troy the Snail, we gradually learn more about the inhabitants of the building.

There is Connor Radley, the unfaithful grad student, his girlfriend Katie, who longs for him to say that he loves her, the maintenance man, Jimeriez, who does hi
Giss Golabetoon
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A goldfish can only do so much and in the end the rest is up to life and life takes care of him in one way or another, if that way is well or poorly, no bother, he’ll l only revel in its glow or suffer its neglect or short time
Chihoe Ho
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Spoiler alert, "Fishbowl" really isn't Ian the goldfish's story. It's a deceptive ploy to make the book seem more quirky than it is – if you take away the goldfish bits, which are minimal to begin with, you get nothing but a regular story revolving around an ensemble of characters. Eventful things happen to a memorable handful, but more often than not, the chain of circumstances felt more like filler, the timeline didn't add up in my opinion, and the cast, while meant to be unique and edgy, came ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Ships Passing in the Night

That's how my Dad used to describe the encounters we have with others as we all pass through our lives. In the case of The Fishbowl these encounters are just as fleeting but are experienced by a goldfish who made the instinctive leap toward the surface of his bowl only to escape its watery confines and find himself rushing headlong from the balcony on the 27th floor of his building toward his doom on the cement sidewalk below.

The imagery of the author's description of
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book became extremely frustrating to read and in the end, not worth it. Save yourself some time and if the summary is even the slightest bit interesting to you, just read the last chapter of the book. It literally summarizes the entire thing without the endless overlay of point of views. Each chapter would feature a different character at the same moment in time as the previous, but from the other person's perspective. Reading about the same scene three different times became unbearable. It ...more
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book! The story centres around Ian, the goldfish, who is plummeting to his death after somehow jumping out of his fishbowl which was sitting on the 27th floor balcony of the apartment building. Throughout his journey the reader gets a glimpse of some of the residents of the apartment building. I love stories where you see the characters beyond the image they want you to see. Highly recommended!
Rachelle (RavenclawRachelle)
I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Fishbowl was unexpectedly quirky and delightful.

A fantastic novel that is equal parts, uninhibitedly funny and thought provoking. An unusual and captivating look at the lives of the inhabitants of an apartment building. Somer has a rare talent for making each and every character relatable, even as you feel a mild disdain for some.

I particularly loved the writing style, it filled me with a
Chance Lee
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no, blurb-d
This book has too many words in it for me.

That complaint sounds ridiculous, but my patience is running thin for books that don't just get to the damn point. The first chapter is four pages about an apartment building. Not describing the height, look, appearance, and feel of the building, but the significance of it. "The box reaches beyond the organic to the ethereal." It goes on and on like this, as if the narrator thinks the reader doesn't know he's talking about a goddamned building.

Also, I'
Margaret Madden
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ian the Goldfish is on a journey of discovery. Falling from a rooftop of a 27 floor apartment block, he catches glimpses of the varied lives through the passing windows. The reader is treated to a deeper look at the lives of the residents of the building.

Each chapter has a name (rather like each episode of the TV show, Friends) and each one is filled with the individual stories of a wonderfully diverse range of characters. A young couple who's ideas of a relationship vary immensely, a first tim
Roberta Jayne
Nearly 4 stars but not quite 4 stars.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. A lot, a lot, A LOT. It was fast paced and undeniably quirky. The characters weren't exactly likeable but each and every single one of them had an unique style and story. And Ian, the goldfish, was definitely something. Oh, Ian the mysterious cute goldfish. It was such a wonderful idea to string together these very ordinary yet extraordinary stories through the wide eyes of forgetful and charming Ian. I particularly loved th
Gumble's Yard
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Really weak novel – the key and interesting premise is of a City apartment block that contains all of life as well as lives interacting with each other, and the book has a clear life-motif that these lives are observed by a goldfish on his fall from the top of the building.

The book has two key flaws.
The key characters include a sex-obsessed graduate student, his girlfriend (who he gradually realises he loves) and lover; the loner supervisor/maintenance man; a cross-dressing burly construction w
Julie Parks
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Very beautiful and philosophical language that barely moves on at all. And to think I chose this book for its puzzling synopsis.

It's the kind of book a writer keeps stored in his desk for inspiration - a page a day kicks the block away.

Not something you flip through looking for twists and answers.

Bradley Somer was certainly a great find.
Rebecca McNutt
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This oddly intense perspective is both creative and original, and is definitely an eye-opening book on a number of people whom the world has overlooked. Definitely worth reading and incredibly well-written.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this book or its author until I spotted it in a Netgalley email highlighting some books to look out for over the next few months. I’m not going to lie, it was the cover that first caught my eye but after reading the synopsis I knew that Fishbowl was a book I needed to read straight away. Luckily I was approved by Ebury (thanks!) for a review copy, but obviously that doesn’t affect my opinion.

The Seville on Roxy is the fishbowl, and we are the observers who stand on the outsi
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As Ian the goldfish tumbles from his bowl on the balcony of the twenty-seventh floor and heads toward the ground below, he glimpses the sky, the pavement, and a snippet of the lives of the residents of the apartment building (the Seville) from which he is plunging.

But the story doesn’t begin with Ian falling—that doesn’t happen until a bit later. The story begins a half hour earlier with Katie who stops by the Seville to visit her boyfriend, Connor, who lives on the 27th floor. Unfortunately the
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-cleanup
3.5 stars rounded to 4. I keep telling myself to be a bit more stingy with the stars but I seem to be getting better at choosing books or at least more able to see the value in all of them.

I usually avoid these types of books. I really don't care to read much about normal lives. I prefer some supernatural thrown in somewhere to emphasize the point the author wants to make, or reading about some extraordinary historical figure. The setup here has been done many times before, an apartment buildin
Kerry Bridges
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian the goldfish lives in a bowl on the 27th floor of the Seville on Roxy. He shares his bowl with Troy the snail, a constant but not very exciting companion. One afternoon, Ian is given the chance to leap for freedom and as he plummets down the 27 floors, the life of the building unfolds before his eye.

I have to say straightaway that I loved this book. It was a little bit slow to start, particularly the opening chapter which sets the tone of the writing and is slightly confusing because you are
WTF Are You Reading?
This is such a wonderfully off the beaten path read. The exploration of life's quirky interconnectedness as seen through the lives of 8 people and one very adventurous fish!
This is by far one of the best books of 2015!
Full review and author interview to come!
Paul Manytravels
The cover of "Fishbowl" by Bradley Somer says, "An irrepressible novel--breezy, funny, sexy, and bursting with life." And it is actually and undeniably all of that. Perhaps that is enough said, but I do want to add a few thoughts, largely because of my experience with reading other goodreads reviews and also because, like some others, I believe this book deserves wider promotion and more readers.
Even though I dislike giving 5 star ratings, I gave Fishbowl that rating because it is so original, s
Gavin Dimmock
From my book review blog at https://themoustachioedreader.wordpre...

This book exudes joy, life, resilience and hope

Everything, from the gorgeous cover, bright orange and with terrific typography and evocative artwork, to the wonderful fish cartoon that tumbles down the pages as they are flicked, is beautifully presented. And the important thing, the story on the pages contained within, is just as wonderfully fabulous.

I’m a little unsure how to categorize this book or how best to concisely descri
George Lester
Such a clever book! It dragged a touch in places, and the multiple perspectives, while very cleverly wrapped up at the end, made it difficult for me to commit to the book. But whenever I was reading it, I found I enjoyable. Equal parts funny and heartfelt with a bit of serendipity thrown in for good measure. Each character has a resolution, and I like that. I mean, I loved some more than others, but loved them all by the end.

Definitely one to look out for this coming August. I already know at le
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was just okay for me. I got a few chuckles out of it, I guess. There were many phrases, sentences and paragraphs that were repeated several times just because the author was getting the perspective of several characters involved in the same situation. The characters were pretty quirky and the author did a good job developing them. It was an interesting enough read but not one I would pay for.

Thanks St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange f
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting concept exploring how we all live in a box, how our lives are interconnected and how one second can change everything. In this case the box is a high rise apartment building with a broken elevator. Bradley Somer inner weaves the stories of several people in the building during the time a goldfish falls from the top floor to the sidewalk below.

I found some of the stories very interesting and some I skimmed. I love the concept, but the total book fell a little flat for me (no pun inte
Kristina Robbins
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK. The entire book takes place in about 30 minutes, giving us a peek into the lives of a few residents of a high rise apartment building. The narration is fantastic - like the book equivalent of going for a walk in the evening and getting a small glipse into people's houses as you pass by. Love, heartbreak, life, death - this book has it all. SO GOOD.
Tammy Parks
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I loved this book so much. A big valentine to humanity, it made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think.
Ian the goldfish lives on the 27th floor of the Seville on Roxy apartment building. Curious to explore life beyond his glass bowl, he takes a leap one day and finds himself tumbling over his balcony and spiraling down toward the ground below. He passes by different windows, catching glimpses of the people inside, and as Ian falls through the sky, headed toward impending doom, the reader
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Bradley Somer has written a ton of short fiction, which has appeared in a plethora of literary journals, reviews and anthologies over the past eleven years. His stories show a bent for the off-kilter with a touch of the urban fantastic.

Bradley’s debut novel, IMPERFECTIONS, was published in Fall 2012 by Nightwood Editions. It earned a starred review from Quill & Quire magazine, won the 2013 CBC
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“There's such a fragile, thin veneer of illusion between the words "together" and "alone".” 4 likes
“When the reason for a thing's being illuminated, it doesn't hold the same mystery it does when it is unknown, which is both a wonderful and a horrible revelation. It's wonderful because it's like peeking into the universe and understanding a tiny bit of its complexity. It's also horrible because a little bit of magic is removed from the world with each discovery.” 2 likes
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