Review: Richard Flanagan’s “Gould’s Book of Fish”

by writereaderly

richard flanagan gould's book of fishFlanagan’s ornate and arcane narrative, purportedly by a Tasmanian convict fish-artist living in the weird phantasmagoria of Sarah Island prison. It just didn’t work for me, and I tried hard for the sake of his first two novels. Overdone but underinspiring; I was moderately curious to see where the plotting vagaries would lead, but really, it lost me in its complexities and by the last quarter I couldn’t do it the dignity of reading every page. Too much work for too little.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Assorted increasingly bewildered and disinterested kaleidoscopic reads
Where it went: Home
Best line of the book: [I had some picked out, but was so over the book by the end that I forgot about them]
Reminds me of/that: Peter Carey’s Ned Kelly hoo-ha; also David Foster’s The Glade within the Grove: that same smart-arsey, erudite blokeyness with concomitant tedious complexity
Who I’d recommend it to:

Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Stella Miles Franklin by Jill Roe; Life on Earth by David Attenborough