Sunday, 12 April 2009

My Thoughts: Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

Before you even start reading this I'm going to let you know that I'm still thinking WHAT?!?! about this book, I finished it an hour ago and have read what a few of the papers had to say about it.
Gould's Book of Fish is set in Tasmania, Australia. An 'antique' dealer (faker) finds this book in a junk shop and becomes obsessed with proving that it is geuine. The little book is described as containing paintings of fish, with dense script surrounding the images and trapped on scraps of paper tucked into the book, the handwriting is crabbed and a mix of colours as the writer has had to make ink from whatever he can find around him.
Up untill then everything is clear, then you get to actually read 'The Book of Fish'. Gould is a convict, imprisoned on the island. He is sent each day to work for one of the wealthy men of the island, a scientist who claims he wants to categorise the fish in the area, with a limited ability to paint Gould sets to work. We then hear Gould talkig about his paintings and his growing obsession with fish, as well as his afairs with a local black woman, the murder of aboriginies, and the treatment of the convicts among many things far more confusing.

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Hedgie said...

I'm gonna have to quit reading other folks' posts; I just had to go out and find this book once I'd read this review. It is simply not possible to resist a book with the subtitle A Novel in Twelve Fish.

Sarah said...

I love the cover! Sounds like an interesting book. :)

Tea said...

I love, love your review. I must read "Gould's Book of Fish." It sounds so uniquely different from what I have been reading.

claire said...

I have Flanagan's Waiting on my wishlist. Now I'm going to have to add this, too. This sounds absolutely delectable and impossible for me not to want to read it. Thanks!

claire said...

Oops.. I meant Wanting.