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Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions
Release Date 2008-09-02
Category Fiction
Total Pages 325
ISBN 9781609450137
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The phenomenal New York Times bestseller that “explores the upstairs-downstairs goings-on of a posh Parisian apartment building” (Publishers Weekly). In an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible—short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she’s everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in an upscale neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: She furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants—her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth. Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she’s come to terms with life’s seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Until then, she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop culture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and “teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors” (Kirkus Reviews). “The narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson’s fluent translation) propel us ahead.” —The New York Times Book Review “Barbery’s sly wit . . . bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations.” —The New Yorker

Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Title Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-12-03
Category
Total Pages 320
ISBN 1913547159
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Gallic Books
Release Date 2013-09-02
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781908313584
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.

The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery

Title The Gourmet
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2009
Category Food critics
Total Pages 144
ISBN 1906040265
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

A Strange Country by Muriel Barbery

Title A Strange Country
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Gallic Books
Release Date 2020-07-16
Category Fiction
Total Pages 86
ISBN 9781910477816
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The novel could be read as an allegory for the challenges that face our modern world, from the controversy surrounding our borders to climate change. Or, it may be seen as a strange and poetic fantasy similar to the work of Tolkien. In either case, it is a beautiful book about what it means to be brave and how we all must work to save ourselves and each other. San Francisco Book Review ‘Bewitching’ … ‘[an] enchanting hero’s journey’ Foreword Reviews ‘At its best, Barbery’s imaginative tale reads as a mix of J.R.R. Tolkien and Hayao Miyazaki, epic in scope yet grounded by humor.’ Publishers’ Weekly ‘Readers who love meditative, dreamlike fiction will enjoy this translation, which rings with the music of the original French.’ Booklist Alejandro de Yepes and Jesús Rocamora, young officers in the Spanish regular army, are stationed alone at Castillo when a friendly redhead named Petrus appears out of nowhere. There is something magnetic and deeply mysterious about him. Alejandro and Jesús are bewitched, and, in the middle of the sixth year of the longest war humankind has ever endured, they abandon their post to follow him across a bridge that only he can see. Petrus brings them to a world of lingering fog, strange beings, poetry, music, natural wonders, harmony and extraordinary beauty. This is where the fate of the world and all its living creatures is decided. Yet this world too is under threat. A long battle against the forces of disenchantment is drawing to a climactic close. Will poetry and beauty prevail over darkness and death? And what role will Alejandro and Jesús play? Muriel Barbery’s richly imagined new novel, the sequel to The Life of Elves, will transport readers to a lost world exposed to the constant churn of civilisations and remind them of the power of poetry and imagination. Alejandro de Yepes and Jesús Rocamora, young officers in the Spanish regular army, are stationed alone at Castillo when a friendly redhead named Petrus appears out of nowhere. There is something magnetic and deeply mysterious about him. Alejandro and Jesús are bewitched, and, in the middle of the sixth year of the longest war humankind has ever endured, they abandon their post to follow him across a bridge that only he can see. Petrus brings them to a world of lingering fog, strange beings, poetry, music, natural wonders, harmony and extraordinary beauty. This is where the fate of the world and all its living creatures is decided. Yet this world too is under threat. A long battle against the forces of disenchantment is drawing to a climactic close. Will poetry and beauty prevail over darkness and death? And what role will Alejandro and Jesús play? Muriel Barbery’s richly imagined new novel, the sequel to The Life of Elves, will transport readers to a lost world exposed to the constant churn of civilisations and remind them of the power of poetry and imagination.

Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery Book Analysis
Author Bright Summaries
Publisher BrightSummaries.com
Release Date 2015-12-21
Category Fiction
Total Pages 24
ISBN 9782806270313
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In this clear and detailed reading guide, we’ve done all the hard work for you! The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a witty and satirical reflection on culture and appearances. Throughout the friendship between a gifted 12-year old and a concierge who is more than what she lets on, Muriel Barbery denounces the pretentions of the French bourgeoisie and their tendency to rely only on appearances. Find out all you need to know about The Elegance of the Hedgehog in just a few minutes! This practical and insightful book includes: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you in your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. Shed new light on your favorite books with BrightSummaries.com!

The Hedgehog And The Fox by Isaiah Berlin

Title The Hedgehog And The Fox
Author Isaiah Berlin
Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Release Date 2014-11-13
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 96
ISBN 9781780228433
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Isaiah Berlin's classic essay on Tolstoy - an exciting new edition with new criticism and a foreword. 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' This fragment of Archilochus, which gives this book its title, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Tolstoy. There have been various interpretations of Archilochus' fragment; Isaiah Berlin has simply used it, without implying anything about the true meaning of the words, to outline a fundamental distinction that exists in mankind, between those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things (foxes) and those who relate everything to a central all-embracing system (hedgehogs). When applied to Tolstoy, the image illuminates a paradox of his philosophy of history, and shows why he was frequently misunderstood by his contemporaries and critics. Tolstoy was by nature a fox, but he believed in being a hedgehog.

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Title Gourmet Rhapsody
Author Muriel Barbery
Publisher Europa Editions Incorporated
Release Date 2009
Category Fiction
Total Pages 156
ISBN 1933372958
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

The Children S Book by A. S. Byatt

Title The Children s Book
Author A. S. Byatt
Publisher Vintage Canada
Release Date 2009-11-03
Category Fiction
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9780307373830
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the renowned author of Possession, The Children’s Book is the absorbing story of the close of what has been called the Edwardian summer: the deceptively languid, blissful period that ended with the cataclysmic destruction of World War I. In this compelling novel, A.S. Byatt summons up a whole era, revealing that beneath its golden surface lay tensions that would explode into war, revolution and unbelievable change — for the generation that came of age before 1914 and, most of all, for their children. The novel centres around Olive Wellwood, a fairy tale writer, and her circle, which includes the brilliant, erratic craftsman Benedict Fludd and his apprentice Phillip Warren, a runaway from the poverty of the Potteries; Prosper Cain, the soldier who directs what will become the Victoria and Albert Museum; Olive’s brother-in-law Basil Wellwood, an officer of the Bank of England; and many others from every layer of society. A.S. Byatt traces their lives in intimate detail and moves between generations, following the children who must choose whether to follow the roles expected of them or stand up to their parents’ “porcelain socialism.” Olive’s daughter Dorothy wishes to become a doctor, while her other daughter, Hedda, wants to fight for votes for women. Her son Tom, sent to an upper-class school, wants nothing more than to spend time in the woods, tracking birds and foxes. Her nephew Charles becomes embroiled with German-influenced revolutionaries. Their portraits connect the political issues at the heart of nascent feminism and socialism with grave personal dilemmas, interlacing until The Children’s Book becomes a perfect depiction of an entire world. Olive is a fairy tale writer in the era of Peter Pan and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In the Willows, not long after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. At a time when children in England suffered deprivation by the millions, the concept of childhood was being refined and elaborated in ways that still influence us today. For each of her children, Olive writes a special, private book, bound in a different colour and placed on a shelf; when these same children are ferried off into the unremitting destruction of the Great War, the reader is left to wonder who the real children in this novel are. The Children’s Book is an astonishing novel. It is an historical feat that brings to life an era that helped shape our own as well as a gripping, personal novel about parents and children, life’s most painful struggles and its richest pleasures. No other writer could have imagined it or created it.

The Cleaner Of Chartres by Salley Vickers

Title The Cleaner of Chartres
Author Salley Vickers
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2013-06-27
Category Fiction
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781101599631
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter…you should be reading Vickers.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can usually be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not diffident Abbé Paul, nor lonely Professor Jones, nor even Alain Fleury, whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes. She has transformed all their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding. Then an accidental encounter dredges up the specter of her past, and the nasty meddling of town gossips forces Agnès to confront her tragic history and the violent act that haunts it.

Title Less Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Author Andrew Sean Greer
Publisher Lee Boudreaux Books
Release Date 2017-07-18
Category Fiction
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780316316149
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (The New York Times Book Review). WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE National Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017 A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of 2017 Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Lambda Award, and the California Book Award Who says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town? ANSWER: You accept them all. What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last. Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story. A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy. "I could not love LESS more."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post "Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."--Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review

American Rebels by Nina Sankovitch

Title American Rebels
Author Nina Sankovitch
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2020-03-24
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781250163295
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Nina Sankovitch’s American Rebels explores, for the first time, the intertwined lives of the Hancock, Quincy, and Adams families, and the role each person played in sparking the American Revolution. Before they were central figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock had forged intimate connections during their childhood in Braintree, Massachusetts. Raised as loyal British subjects who quickly saw the need to rebel, their collaborations against the Crown and Parliament were formed years before the revolution and became stronger during the period of rising taxes and increasing British troop presence in Boston. Together, the families witnessed the horrors of the Boston Massacre, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Bunker Hill; the trials and tribulations of the Siege of Boston; meetings of the Continental Congress; transatlantic missions for peace and their abysmal failures; and the final steps that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. American Rebels explores how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together as well as dividing them—rebels versus loyalists—as they pursued commonly-held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability. Nina Sankovitch's new book is a fresh history of our revolution that makes readers look more closely at Massachusetts and the small town of Braintree when they think about the story of America’s early years.

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing

Title The Fifth Child
Author Doris Lessing
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2010-11-17
Category Fiction
Total Pages 144
ISBN 9780307777645
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Doris Lessing's contemporary gothic horror story—centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human—probes society's unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside—until the birth of their fifth baby. Gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant-like about him. As he grows older and more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him. Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.

Title The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Author Alice Robinson
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2010
Category
Total Pages 12
ISBN OCLC:505187999
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Sweetblood by Pete Hautman

Title Sweetblood
Author Pete Hautman
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2010-08-31
Category Juvenile Fiction
Total Pages 208
ISBN 1439108749
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Szabo is Undead -- at least according to her own theories about vampirism. Lucy believes that the first vampires -- with their pale skin, long teeth, and uncontrollable thirst -- were dying diabetics. And she should know. She's a diabetic herself. When Lucy becomes involved with Draco -- a self-proclaimed "real" vampire she meets in the Transylvania Internet chat room -- her world begins crashing down around her. Caught up in late-night parties and Goth culture, she begins to lose control of her grades, relationships, and health. Lucy realizes she needs to make some important choices, and fast. But it may already be too late.

Title Bookclub in a Box Discusses Khaled Hosseini s Novel a Thousand Splendid Suns
Author Khaled Hosseini
Publisher Bookclub-In-A-Box
Release Date 2008-04
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 89
ISBN 1897082525
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This is a terrific resource for students and educators of literary fiction. The newer novels of our time have few supportive interpretations as of yet; the classics have too many. BOOKCLUB-IN-A-BOX is the spot to come for a literary perspective and understanding that is just right. If you have suffered from a lack of discussion topics in the past, use this guide! Sections include: Literary Interpretation; Writing Style and Structure; Themes and Focus Points; Characaterisation; Historical Information; Novel Summary; Author Information; Images, Symbols and Metaphors; Important Quotes. This set includes: The complete BOOKCLUB-IN-A-BOX Guidebook; A Read-Alongside-Guide (RAG) -- a quick reference of fast facts and things to consider while reading the novel which can be copied and distributed to members; A BOOKCLUB-IN-A-BOX sticky notepad to highlight important passages and to record your important thoughts; Bookmarks to keep your place in all those great novels you're going to read.

Unformed Landscape by Peter Stamm

Title Unformed Landscape
Author Peter Stamm
Publisher Other Press, LLC
Release Date 2010-02-23
Category Fiction
Total Pages 168
ISBN 9781590514085
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Unformed Landscape begins in a small village on a fjord in the Finnmark, on the northeastern coast of Norway, where the borders between Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia lie covered in snow and darkness, where the real borders are between day and night, summer and winter, and between people. Here, a sensitive young woman like Kathrine finds few outlets for her desires. Half Norwegian, half Sami (an indigenous people), Kathrine works for the customs office inspecting the fishing boats arriving regularly in the harbor. She is in her late 20s, has a son from an early marriage, and has drifted into a second loveless marriage to a man whose cold and dominating conventionality forms a bold stroke through the unformed landscape of her life. After she makes a discovery about her husband that deeply wounds her, Kathrine cuts loose from her moorings and her confusion and sets off in search of herself. Her journey begins aboard a ship headed south, taking her below the Arctic Circle for the first time in her life. Kathrine makes her way to France and has the bittersweet experience of a love affair that flares and dies quickly, her starved senses rewarded by the shimmering beauty of Paris. Through a series of poignant encounters, Kathrine is led to the richer life she was meant to have and is brave enough to claim. Using simple words strung together in a melodic alphabet, Peter Stamm introduces us, through a series of intimate sketches, to the heart of an unforgettable woman. Her story speaks eloquently about solitude, the fragility of love, lost illusions, and self-discovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli

Title Yummy Yucky
Author Leslie Patricelli
Publisher Candlewick Press
Release Date 2011-11-15
Category Juvenile Fiction
Total Pages 24
ISBN 9780763657000
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Learning about opposites has never been more fun - or funny - than with this winning book. Yummy! Spaghetti is yummy, but worms - and blue crayons, and sand, and other things too gross to mention - are definitely yucky when tasted. Amiably illustrated in a bright, graphic style, Leslie Patricelli’s spirited book, Yummy Yucky stars an obliging, bald, and very expressive toddler who acts out each pair of opposites with comically dramatic effect.

The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley

Title The Prison Book Club
Author Ann Walmsley
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2015-09-22
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780143194170
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A daring journalist goes behind bars to explore the redemptive power of books with bikers, bank robbers, and gunmen An attack in London left Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men's medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear. But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity. For the men, the books were rare prized possessions, and the meetings were an oasis of safety and a respite from isolation in an otherwise hostile environment. Having been judged themselves, they were quick to make judgments about the books they read. As they discussed the obstacles the characters faced, they revealed glimpses of their own struggles that were devastating and comic. From The Grapes of Wrath to The Cellist of Sarajevo, Outliers to Infidel, the book discussions became a springboard for frank conversations about loss, anger, redemption, and loneliness. The Prison Book Club follows six of the book club members, who kept journals at Walmsley's request and participated in candid one-on-one conversations. Graham the biker, Frank the gunman, Ben and Dread the drug dealers, and the robber duo Gaston and Peter come to life as the author reconciles her knowledge of their crimes with the individuals themselves, and follows their lives as they leave prison. And woven throughout is the determined and compassionate Carol Finlay, working tirelessly to expand her program across Canada and into the United States. The books changed the men and the men changed Walmsley, allowing her to move beyond her position as a victim. Given the choice, she'd forsake the company of privileged friends and their comfortable book club to make the two-hour drive to Collins Bay.

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

Title Fishbowl
Author Bradley Somer
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2015-08-04
Category Fiction
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781466861701
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become. Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had." Bradley Somer's Fishbowl is at turns funny and heartbreaking and you will, no doubt, fall in love with his unforgettable characters.