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Publisher's Summary

Writer and illustrator Daniel Wallace has published stories in various literary magazines. Big Fish is a novel reminiscent of Garrison Keillor and Mark Twain. It is a surprising work, filled with imagination, homespun humor, and hyperbole. 

Edward Bloom, an aging salesman, is dying. As his grown son, William, cares for him, the young man tries to focus on what he knows about his father’s life. Story after story surfaces in William’s memory, and he shares mythic visions of a fantastic father who was loved by all - a man who was the best runner, fisherman, businessman, and adventurer in the world. Big Fish tells these tall tales of Edward Bloom’s life. Punctuated with his vast repertory of jokes, they set the stage for Edward’s final, wonderful transformation.

©1998 Daniel Wallace (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"In a plainspoken style dotted with transcendent passages, Wallace mixes the mundane and the mythical. His chapters have the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale, and the novel's roomy structure allows the mystery and lyricism of the story to coalesce." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Big Fish

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movie was better

the ending in the film was so much better, although a great book. I did enjoy the movie much more and it remains my favorite film

2 people found this helpful

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~*A MASTERCLASS IN LORE*~

Hands-down, the most vivid and immersive narration of family lore that I’ve ever encountered. Wallace’s novel is a stunning homage to the recursive, labyrinthine mythology of home and homeland through which we learn the world as children and to which we look as adults as we grow our own. If (like myself) you’ve come to this novel encouraged by the 2003 Burton film, you’re in the right place— with half of the whole story. In Burton, we experience Edward Bloom’s fantastical life side-by-side with him. The catch (truly) of Wallace’s novel is we experience Edward Bloom’s fantastical life, but only at the same narrative arm’s-length as his son, William, and then only through the veil of William’s own retelling of the tales. In this way, Wallace’s novel gifts to us not only a masterful narrative in the handling of grief and shaken identity that comes with the loss of a parent, but also a devastatingly beautiful, warm, and hilarious vision for honoring our own parts in the stories we inherit— as players, as audience, and, ultimately, as keepers.

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A real delight!

The story holds you from beginning to end, through the silly jokes to the fantastic unrealism. I had hoped it would hold up to the film and it gpes one better - all the way! I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

1 person found this helpful

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WOW! Just WOW!

I should start by stating that I have never seen the movie that is based on this book. I picked it up after watching the show, "Home Town Takeover" where among other locations they helped restore the Big Fish House. This is the house they used in the movie. Having no context to what, "The Big Fish" house was, and having never seen the movie or listened/ read the book I decided to start with the book.

Please don't listen to the people who claim this is a bad book. This is wonderfully written. The character growth is not what you might expect, but considering it is such a short story that should be easy to forgive.

One thing I would say is if this book truly is required reading at some high schools then that is a shame. This feels like the kind of book that would best suit a more mature audience, possibly best suit people that have lost loved ones. While listening to the book I could not help but constantly be reminded of my grandpa, who was prone to tell y'all tales.

The feel is something more along the lines of learning to let go and accept death. I is not dreary in the slightest however. You kind of just need to give it a listen. This is absolutely going onto my once- a- year- at- the- bear- minimum- listen list. it is up there with the book, "The Boys In The Boat" for just how good it is!

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Better Than I Expected

I was skeptical about this book because of the negative reviews but I really enjoyed it. The narrator is quite convinced in the characters he reads and does the voices well. It's hard not to compare this book to the movie, and I certainly think the movie is better, but reading/listening to this isn't a waste of time.

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Tasty Sea Bass

Stop me if you've heard this one. A humorous and beautiful story we can't believe but all want to believe in. Had me tearing up, laughing my head off and soaking in life lessons like a sponge. Made me feel like a kid too.

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great story

If you like the movie, you will love the book just as much, I promise you.

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The reading was fantastic. The book isn't

I had to hear this for an essay. The story is interesting but not my cup of tea.

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Really good book. See the movie too

Any additional comments?

Very good read. A short book, and very entertaining.Nonetheless, a rare exception in that the movie is at least as good. Read the book first, because the movie does things with the story. This is a magical story, that shows truths without being overbearing.

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Unfortunately

I love the movie and unfortunately was expecting the same. This book is pretty boring.

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  • Andrew duce
  • 11-28-16

Absolutely beautiful

Captivating from start to finish, better than I had hoped. It has become a favorite of mine