Reader reviews and comments on Fishbowl, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


A Novel

by Bradley Somer

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer X
Fishbowl by Bradley Somer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 304 pages
    Nov 2016, 304 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 4
There are currently 27 reader reviews for Fishbowl
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Missie S. (Chilhowie, VA)

Fish Eye Lens
Ian will forever be one of my favorite characters! The list of eclectic tenants and peeking into their lives as Ian free falls is original and refreshing. It is entertainment with guilt free voyeurism. We learn so much about human nature and the difficult decisions people are face with daily.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this wonderful book. It is on my bookclub list now for consideration as a selection.

I LOVE, LOVE the flip book! What a treasure of a story plus a cool little Ian on each page!
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)

Loved the characters!
When I started reading, I could not see where we were going. However, I fell in love with all the characters. My kind of people. Even the off beat ones. The elevator also played a role. Ian (of the Goldfish Bowl) did his part. If you want to read a feel good book snap it up. It kept me engaged until the final page. I am probably a sucker for a happy story.
Elinor M. (Roswell, NM)

Voyeurism at its Very Best
Bradley Somer's style in presenting the occupants of the Roxy Street apartment building, prior to and during Ian's airborne descent, was unique, giving birth to myriad stories of life. Feeling somewhat like a voyeur, one can't help but be caught up in it all, moving from one chapter to the next as the lives are revealed.

The character development was skillfully executed, running the gamut from somewhat pathetic to cheerfully happy, occasionally bringing the reader to the point of sadness, then on to laugh-out-loud moments. It all rather made me wonder about my own neighborhood where you see folks going to work, coming home from work, but never really knowing them except for an occasional wave.

I would certainly recommend "Fishbowl" to my book club for I am convinced that lively discussions would arise.

And finally, I found my discovery of the margin "notes" to be particularly entertaining.
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)

Slow Fall
Excellent story! Very well written, loved how each chapter touched on the individuals in the building and then at the end they somewhat tied together. Didn't want it to end.
Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC)

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer looks at our everyday world through the eyes of Ian, a goldfish, who has fallen out of his window. He views the everyday lives of the extraordinarily ordinary people as he passes by their windows. Just up the street is a construction site advertising "The Future Home" of 180 luxury suites with silhouette people depicted. What would Ian see as he passed by these windows?
Bradley Somer creates a feeling of nostalgia by looking at an old, much-used building/life and contrasting it against a new, sterile one. I look forward to reading more from him.
Harriette K. (Northbrook, IL)

The reader first meets Ian, a goldfish, as he falls from the 27th floor balcony of the apartment occupied by Connor. We don't find out the reason for his fall until the very last chapter of the book. In the meantime, we do learn about the lives of some of the tenants of this aging apartment building. The elevators are broken and tenants must use the stairs. Because of this, some meet, interact and have life-changing experiences. What would happen if we said more than "hello" to a neighbor that we see every day? Would we make a meaningful connection that might change the course of our lives? That's the question I asked myself while reading. The author moves us back and forth through the chapters so that we are always waiting to see the next step these quirky characters take. I would definitely recommend this for a fun and thoughtful read.
Marianne D. (Crofton, MD)

A quirky delight!
Ian, an adventuresome goldfish, is the leitmotif in Bradley Somer's snapshot of life in an apartment building. Every one of Somer's many characters comes to life through his vivid, detailed descriptions of their physical features and actions. Imagine several short stories, brilliantly intertwined, some resolved (sort of), some left open (partly) and all appended with the author's/narrator's speculations: "Fishbowl" is all of this and more. While the first few pages were a struggle, the rest of the book flew by. While the reader might consider the pinpoint descriptions, which follow one right after the other, a bit tiring to read, they are absolutely necessary to Somer's literary style. Be patient - this book is well worth the processing time! (This is NOT a spoiler alert: Pay attention to the squiggled image of Ian on the right-hand side of the pages, and then flip through the book...)
Pam L. (Melbourne Beach, FL)

Legal Voyeurism
Have you ever wondered what lives people really live? Then pick up Bradley Somer's new novel Fishbowl. A clever title, a very clever premise and a great story. Fishbowl lets the reader explore the lives of the residents of the Seville on Roxy with Ian, a goldfish, yes a fish, that swan dives out of his bowl on the twenty seventh floor. From the first pages, this book made me smile. The story includes a heroine, a villain and a cast of eccentric characters all looking for love. I hated to put this novel down, because I couldn't wait to read what happened in the lives of the residents. Fishbowl was sweet, surprising, and thoroughly entertaining. As a reader, I just love the fact that novels give you a window into other peoples lives, and Fishbowl does that with a unique twist.

Beyond the Book:
  Ancient Apartment Buildings

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Savage Feast
    Savage Feast
    by Boris Fishman
    I adore authors who not only write about the big themes that possess them, but also drop little ...
  • Book Jacket: Lost Children Archive
    Lost Children Archive
    by Valeria Luiselli
    Lost Children Archive is a feast of language and storytelling that chronicles a family road trip ...
  • Book Jacket: The World According to Fannie Davis
    The World According to Fannie Davis
    by Bridgett M. Davis
    Devoted daughter Bridgett M. Davis was always inspired by her mother Fannie, who provided stability,...
  • Book Jacket: Territory of Light
    Territory of Light
    by Yuko Tsushima
    Set in Tokyo during the late 1970s, Yūko Tsushima's Territory of Light chronicles a year in the...

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Half-Life of Everything
by Deborah Carol Gang

A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Sounds Like Titanic
    by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

    "A tricky, unnerving, consistently fascinating memoir."
    --Kirkus, starred review
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost Man
    by Jane Harper

    A stunning standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Climate Report

The Climate Report

"The most comprehensive assessment of the effects of climate change on the United States."
–The New York Times


Word Play

Solve this clue:

B I I T Eye O T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.