Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Gould's Book of Fish by William Flanagan
Not only is Flanagan's book overshadowed by English Passengers, which also tackles the melange of nineteenth-century Tasmania, it is also weakened by the author's desire to be clever. Gould, the narrator of the major part of the book, constantly quotes famous aphorisms but he never seems to know that he is quoting them. Are we as readers supposed to assume that Gould serendipitously mouths these words without knowing that he is quoting someone? Self-referentiality is also passe these days, but apparently no one has told this to Flanagan. Nevertheless Flanagan's work is recommended if you like magical realism, historical novels, farces and colorful casts of characters.


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3:13 AM  

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