Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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A book that does nothing less than make you happy . . . an absolute pleasure (France Inter)
This novel is full of quiet happiness. It transforms you . . . A great breath of truth and good humour, fresh and delicate (La Reference)
Just a mouthful of a book, but a delicious one (Voir Montreal)
Naive and unexpected, and very fetching (Le Devoir)
Szalowski's first novel sets your heart glowing without succumbing to schmaltz (Emerald)
This funny, touching and highly original novel till not fail to put a smile on your face as well as a spring in your step, when you realise that absolutely anything is possible, hope should never be lost, and wishes really can come true (Good Book Guide)
A tale of love, vodka, coming out and very cold weatherSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Taking place one winter in Canada, a boy's parents tell him they are separating. Upset, he asks the sky to help him. That night, the worst ice storm that the city has seen begins to cause havoc and force people into helping each other, talking to each other, even facing up to their issues.
There's the unnamed narrator and his parents, couch potato former policeman dad and frustrated mum. There's their neighbours. homophobic Alexis and his neglected son Alex. Closeted gay couple Michel and Simon. Stripper Julie and her unfulfilling one night stands. And Russian maths genius Boris and his eponymous, PhD-bound fish, for whom the ice storm and power cuts may mean a slow and cooling death.
It's a lively cast of likeable people, with some wonderful scenes as they struggle to cope with ice and power cuts, and each other.
The comparisons to fairy tales are justified, it has that whimsical and 'wish fulfilment' aspect. It's also very visual and would make a charming film.
I enjoyed it immensely and stormed through it in a couple of sittings. It's light and short, and a lovely little escape.
With added weather.
I read it in January when it was snowing which I'm sure added to my reading experience!
Would recommend to put a glow on your cheeks.
Part fable, part fairytale it addresses some serious topics - parental separation, homosexuality, anti-Semitism and table-dancing, but it does so very deftly thanks to a translation by Alison Anderson that retains the child-like simplicity of the 11-year old anonymous narrator. However, in addition to these issues the F-word is used so it is not suitable for younger children who like to read.
It is Christmas Day 1997 and the narrator feels tension in the air as presents are handed out and his parents continue to argue. The book describes the events of the following fortnight when his parents explain, in a very adult way, that they are going to separate [`One week you'll be with Daddy, here. The other week you'll come to my place. You'll see, it'll almost be the same as before. There are lots of children who are very happy living like this....'].
Faced with this family break-up and feeling that it must be his fault that his parents no longer love one another, the boy `looked up at the sky, grey and black. I couldn't stop staring at it. I was so small, and it was so big. And I prayed to the sky to help me.' The result is the ice storm which, according to Google, left `millions in the dark for periods from days to weeks, and in some instances, months. It led to 35 fatalities, a shutdown of activities in large cities like Montreal and Ottawa, and an unprecedented effort in reconstruction of the power grid.Read more ›
I can easily see this being made into a rather slushy Christmas movie - it has all the ingredients right there, even down to the snowy setting. If real life were like this it would be a happier world - but of course it isn't. So rather like a Christmas movie, I did enjoy the chance to suspend my disbelief for a short while but I couldn't quite make the size of suspension required to become fully absorbed. It's too sweet and implausible to really tell us anything fundamental about life. I know I'm cynical, but honestly even Pollyanna herself might find the way this works out a bit too rose-tinted.
This is starting to sound like a negative review, which I don't really mean it to be. It was a nice story, quick and easy to read, and I enjoyed its quirkiness. It made me laugh at times and I liked the chance to imagine this could all actually happen. It's not cutting edge reality, but it is a feel-good book and enjoyable,. If you enjoy the works of Mitch Albom, or 'A Man Called Olav' by Frederik Bachman, you will certainly enjoy this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautiful cover, a beguiling title. I was prepared to like this. At the start I wasn't sure of the style, but I soon settled to the pace and voice and warmed (almost a joke... Read morePublished 4 months ago by K. J. Noyes
A different and enjoyable read, though not the page turner I had anticipated.Published 10 months ago by NitNit
This story is good at evoking the feeling of community spirit which can build up when the weather keeps people together. It has a feel good factor which made me want to read on. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ruth Sutton
I can't actually remember buying this book or anything else about it.Published 21 months ago by GB Dobosz
I read it in french with a lot of errors but the story is so good I forgot that to concentrate on the essential ! I recommand it to everyone !Published on 13 May 2014 by Allou
I loved this book! I read it in about 5 hours. It is a little different, but it has a fantastic story and you really are drawn into hoping for a happy ending for everyone.Published on 30 Nov. 2013 by Aimhigher
This is a lovely gentle story. Simple but strong storyline. S0 good, my wife actually bought a copy for her mother!!Published on 9 Aug. 2013 by Simon James
A lovely read about life, love and the important things in life. I loved the fact that the narrater thought all the events were due to his "communication" with the weather.Published on 12 July 2013 by SUZ