Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fishbowl- Bradley Somer

This is a review of an unpublished version I received for free through NetGalley.

Interesting book. It's supposed to be a story about a fish falling from a building, but it's not really. In fact, the fish wasn't all that necessary except to make this book a bit different then every other book about people and their lives. 

This is a book about people in a building, it gives us a very brief glimpse into their lives (about an hour to be exact) and it's pretty cool because the characters are engaging, the way the chapters alternate POV's keeps it fresh and the fact that we go back in time to witness the same event from a different characters perspective just makes the whole story tight. 

It's a good attempt but would be great if the author got rid off/fixed the following:

Strange Metaphors 

Wow, this guy was trying too hard with the figures of speech. As the story moved along I got engrossed in the narrative and didn't pay much attention to the rest of the stuff, but starting out I was just thought wtf, when I read sentences like:

He wears the look of how a loved one's embrace feels 

Huh!!? Does he mean: He looks as though he's being embraced by a loved one?? How can one look like a loved one's embrace feels?!?! 


If he could, Ian would wonder on the beautiful and quantifiable order that gravity imposes on the chaos of the world, the harmony of a marriage between a constant acceleration and an ultimate speed that all objects in free fall reach but don't breach. Is this universal number divine or simply physics, and if it's the latter, could it be the work of the former?

Then there is:

Unlike most men, Connor is an amazingly sensual dancer, his body seeming to respond to her feelings

One more for the road:

He's busily learning more about less 

WTF words 

The author's Aussie and some words were just a big Huh for me. Apparently rooting in Australia is having sex O.o. Lord knows what hexaped means. Bimaniacal anyone? I'm pretty sure that's not a real word. 

Repetitive writing 

Some of the writing was very repetitive, both in terms of events and actual words. This might have been used as a writing style but it wasn't effective 

Children's book writing style 

Not sure if they will be fixing this by the time the final edition comes out but it is EVERYWHERE. Short, clipped, simple sentences, you know, things like: Jenna is a pretty girl. She likes eating apples. Jenna knew someday her fondness of apples would lead her to greatness. Editor.Now. 

Claire the Shut-in 

Wow. Just wow. First of all, I am HOPING that this is just a coincidence, but Claire the shut-in is an exact copy of a character from a book called Shoeaholic Anonymous. It's a crappy book that no ones probably ever heard of, which makes it a great source of character forgery. However, I'm giving Bradley the benefit of the doubt and chalking it all up to coincidence. This is the similarity: Both characters are agoraphobics who have been shut in their apartments for god know show long and never leave it. They live alone and rely on the internet. To make money, they both operate as phone sex operators.... You can see why I was a bit taken aback. But whatever, two writers can come up with the exact same character coincidentally..it COULD happen. 

In all cases, this character was just WRONG. She did not make any psychological sense. One does not become an agoraphobic simply because they realize they don't need any of their friends.. that just doesn't happen. Also, if one is already established as agoraphobic in a book one does not suddenly invite a strange man into one's home!

Ah! That's all I can be bothered to share for now, sleeping time! But seriously, I read the book in 3 days because it was really entertaining. All the stuff I mentioned above where things I noted in the first 50 pages of the book because after that I was too intrigued by the story to notice anymore. So good job Bradley, I hope the published version fixes some of the kinks above.

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