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Big Fish [Paperback]

Daniel Wallace
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Jan 2004
Throughout William's childhood, his much-absent father, Edward, regaled him with tall tales of his exploits as a young man. But now that his father is dying, William must get to know the real Edward Bloom, before it's all too late. Inspired by the fragments of stories he's gathered over the years, William recreates his father's life in a series of legends and myths, through which he begins to understand Edward Bloom's great feats - and great failings - at last finding a way to say goodbye.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Film tie-in edition edition (5 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743484258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743484251
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A talented and fascinating writer. Daniel Wallace has created a jewel in BIG FISH' -- Winston Groom, author of FORREST GUMP

'Eloquent and witty...beautifully illustrating the importance of having the chance to say goodbye' -- BIG ISSUE

'Extravagent and endearing' -- GUARDIAN

From the Inside Flap

William Bloom’s father, Edward, is dying. In his prime he was an extraordinary man: animals loved him, people loved him, women loved him; he was an inspired salesman – a visionary, in fact; and he knew more jokes than any man alive.

Or at least, that’s what he’s told his son. But Edward wasn’t really around that much and now, watching his father die, William grows increasingly desperate to know him before it’s all too late. In a wonderful sleight of hand, William re-creates his elusive father’s life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, William begins to understand Edward Bloom’s great feats – and his great failings – managing to reckon with the father he’s about to lose. And find a way to say goodbye.

A highly original, funny, poignant debut, Big Fish teaches us about the art of joke telling, the transformative power of storytelling, and one way of moving from life to death.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different book 31 Jan 2004
By A Customer
I can safely say that no-one will have read a book like "Big Fish" before.I picked it up to read prior to seeing the movie (can never read the book after seeing the movie!),& for 2 days it captivated me totally.
It is a magical story,deeply sentimental,very funny & thought provoking.
You will meet some remarkable characters & be transported to places you have never dreamt exist....even on paper.
The book is written in a simple style,which is almost like a childrens book.The chapters are short & easy to read,but leave you eager to catch up with what happens next.
I could not put it down & am now dying to see the movie,which I am sure will be great.Tim Burton is just the man to bring a story like this to life!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Big stuff in a small package 5 Oct 1998
By A Customer
I started and finished this little book on Sunday morning, and I've thought about it all day. This is an interesting story that is sure to get you thinking about your relationship with your own dad, whether or not he's still living. Short snippets of the father's life are recalled by his son, intertwined with fun chapters that show dad's insistence that he tell jokes to his dying day. These will draw you in and propel you forward. And there's one scene which is cleverly brought back a few times throughout the book and fine-tuned until the end. The final chapters are wonderful and will fill you up with emotion. What a nice book to read in one sitting...but I recommed you leave time for reflection about your own life with your dad as well.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 1 July 2004
Perhaps it is unfair to make comparisions with the film. I'm usually the kind of guy who will read a book after seeing the film as I often find the book to contain a great deal more detail. However I was extremely dissapointed with Big Fish especially after loving the film and hearing many good reviews of the book.
In my mind the book was repetitive and disjointed, lacking the emotion of its on-screen counterpart. Being an optimistic kinda person I believe it is important not to merely critise the book but marvel at Tim Burton's ability to realise it's (very well) hidden potential and turn this apathetic book into a cinematic delight. I hoped I never have to recommend anyone to watch the film instead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of mythic proportions 8 Jan 2005
By Virago
I bought this because I saw the film and loved it. The book is obviously very similar to the film but as is usual with books made into films has a lot of detail, which sets it apart and in some ways makes it more enjoyable. The book is a story told by a man about his father's life and death, his father is a man who lived his life telling stories and jokes, some of them true, some of them untrue, some of them debateable! It's a beautiful story, funny, sad, heart-warming and very, very creative. I read the book easily in a couple of days and I loved it! Big Fish, to me, is like a fairy tale but for adults.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a MUST-SEE Movie 7 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I watched this because of my interest in the Broadway Stage Musical based on it. I can only say that it its (and I'm NOT a Tim Burton fan!) one of the most beautiful stories I have ever seen on film. Characters and storyline are endearing and gripping, the thought that we as parents pass the best of us onto our children is key to the film and is told beautifully. Finney, McGregor, De Vito et al are perfectly cast. Buy it and watch it over and over again. If I could give 6 stars I would.
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3.0 out of 5 stars So-so 28 Sep 2012
When I picked up Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination my boyfriend picked up Big Fish but he didn't like it so he passed it on to me. I can kind of see where he is coming from, he thought it was just to fanciful *(says the guy who mainly reads fantasy books!). I suppose the way it was presented was like a biography but really most of the stories couldn't be true (except for maybe the naked woman and the snake, cause, you know, naked women are always at risk from snakes...). Actually though I quite enjoyed the stories, although I found it easier to see them as short stories in their own right rather than as a longer narative. I enjoyed it well enough although it wasn't really some great story. It was pretty humourous but it didn't really seem to have that much of a point really.

I prefered the film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big fish 21 Jun 2010
By A. J.
The book is very good and it was a present. It arrived in less than a week and I am very happy about that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big Fish 14 Feb 2010
... made more interesting as this book was the subject of grand-daughter's homework and we sent / received an email from the author giving an insight into what he made of the film version!
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