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.
Power Reviewer
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.
Yolanda M. (Boise, ID)

Could Not Put It Down
I loved this book. It's the best case of multiple story lines all running alongside each other I have read in a very long time. I became vested in every one of the characters, from the fish to the dance of two men and one amazing dress. Who would have thought that an empty-headed goldfish could have carried a story that was, at times, complex and murky and at other times golden? I will never look at a 27 story stairway in the same way again. Much of what would have been subject matter handled in a grossly base manner was often delicately delivered as in the case of a manly cross-dresser. Other stories could have been less base, as in the case with a man who somehow manages to find himself after years of narcissistic living.

The last chapter was not needed. It was like there was this perfect ending and then someone decided they needed to delve further into that which is existential. It took away any moment of pure satisfaction in the story itself.
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: In Extremis
    In Extremis
    by Lindsey Hilsum
    International journalist Marie Colvin pushed the limits in her work and her personal life. Widely ...
  • Book Jacket: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.