Booked! discussion

Gould's Book of Fish > Gould's Book of Fish

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod
This is the choice for the December book. I've had this book for a while and always flirted with the idea of picking it up from the shelf....well that's what books are for, right?
However I was never ready for it, not too sure why, but it could be that I have great expectations on the read, as the reviews are generally glowing with praise, mixed at the same time with an indifferent interest for the topic.
I have to confess I mainly bought it for the cover (seahorses are my favourite creatures), vain I know, but that's how it works out sometimes.
Now the time is right and I'm ready to be pleasantly surprised as it is Christmas after all!

message 2: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten (starburstkirst) | 7 comments Is this book not available on kindle? I searched but nothing comes up, just wanted to check I wasn't being stupid before I go searching for it at a bookshop.

message 3: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod
I think you're right, very odd

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 24 comments I ordered the book through Amazon.

message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan | 24 comments I aim to start on the first "fish" this week.

message 6: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod
Just don't eat the book ;-)

message 7: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten (starburstkirst) | 7 comments I don't know it's been pretty tasty so far!

message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan | 24 comments Well hello Carlos.
Welcome to Booked!

message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 24 comments I think so, too.
But then, I might be a bit prejudiced :D

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 24 comments Ha! I haven't gotten the friend request yet, but I'll be glad to be your friend!

message 11: by Kathi (new)

Kathi Hall | 27 comments Mod
Epic fail - I've not bought the book yet ... better get my skates on!

message 12: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten (starburstkirst) | 7 comments I've got the book but haven't started reading it yet. Hopefully I will mange to blitz it next week after my exams.

message 13: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod
I have to say, it is brilliantly written. Finally an author who uses an extensive vocabulary which is good brain food

message 14: by Jeannette (new)

Jeannette | 10 comments Double epic fail for me have the book but nowhere near ready to start reading, eye probs, goes with disease. Reading little at a time.

message 15: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod
that sucks Jeannette. does it get better or is it a permanent problem?

message 16: by Mary (new)

Mary | 9 comments The library finally got the book on loan down from Boulder & I picked it up last week... but still haven't gotten very far. Those multi-clause sentences just kill me at the end of the day.. always seem to nod off mid-way through one of them. But the story is intriguing & I love that the author picked this convict/artist to spin a yarn around.

message 17: by Fabrizio (new)

Fabrizio Viani (fabriziov) | 23 comments Mod

Flanagan is a writer for writers. He has the same style as Umberto Eco and James Joyce with a hint of Peter Ackroyd in "Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem". However the latter flows better with a more linear storytelling even if it retains the grit and the dirt of the period. Like Eco, his prose is impeccable but at times to the detriment of enjoyment. Flanagan uses almost every word in the dictionary and he transports you in that period in history but he does it at the expenses of the reader who finds himself lost in an eclectic tale but with little attachment to the main character. Like with Joyce, you can feel his knowledge and education are immense but he leaves you cold and uninterested in the outcome and well-being of Mr Gould.
Flanagan starts the book in the same fashion as Eco did with "The name of the rose", telling of having found a book with an incredible story, only this time the protagonist is real, William Beulow Gould did exist and he did write a book of fish, though that's all it was.
The story dipped in and out of interest for me. I felt I could have left the book at any time and nothing would've changed in my life. But I didn't leave it as the story still managed to tickle my curiosity. Also the design of the book is wholesome, it has the feel of an important book, with its narrow layout and ancient typeface. Not exactly the right reasons to pursue a story, I know.
I didn't hate it, I wouldn't recommend it either. But it is a book for those moments when your brain needs feeding words, a workout for grey matter. Not one to pick up randomly during the snippets of free time during the festivities and family gatherings, as it seemed to take a while to enter the flow of the sentences. I’d give it 7 out of 10, it would’ve been less but for the sheer imagination and literary skill.

message 18: by Simon (last edited Dec 31, 2013 03:25AM) (new)

Simon Olley (SimonOlley) | 10 comments Last day of December and it looks unlikely that I'll finish this book. Is Fabrizio the only person to struggle through to the end? I will be disappointed if I give up on this as I too am still intrigued, in part because I do find some of the characters interesting and also as there is this underlying truth of a real person in history. Flanagan's prose does seem to suck the colour out of the pages for me. With all the reference to colour and the verdant nature of Tasmania, the darkness of Gould and his experiences overshadows and wherever I read this book, I feel, like Gould, a prisoner in a dark and hopeless place - not where I want to be at Christmas, but perhaps that's all down to the stress of looking after 80 something parents and in-laws. I'm going to stick with it for now. It's worth looking up Gould's fish paintings online too.

message 19: by Kathi (new)

Kathi Hall | 27 comments Mod
Unfortunately I didn't get around to reading it (or buying it even!) but the way you guys are describing it, I'm kind of glad I didn't! Sounds like a very mixed book!

back to top