Failure of Fish

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Failure ​of​ ​Fish​ ​is​ ​a​ ​refreshing,​ ​engaging,​ ​and​ ​exciting​ ​new novel​ ​that​ ​I​ ​would​ ​deem​ ​as​ ​a ​very worthy​ ​successor​ ​to​ ​the​ ​pantheon​ ​of​ fine​ ​literary​ ​works.​ This​ ​novel​ ​addresses​ ​the​ ​age-old​ ​problem​ ​of​ ​individual​ ​moral responsibility​ ​as it​ ​explores​ ​the​ ​mind​ ​of​ ​a​ ​fatherless​ ​teenage​ ​boy​ ​who​ has​ ​to​ ​stand​ ​by​ ​and​ ​watch​ ​helplessly​ ​as​ ​his childhood​ ​community descends​ ​into​ ​total​ ​moral​ ​ruin​ ​before​ ​ending​ ​up​ ​becoming​, ​quite literally, the​ ​smoking​ ​remains​ ​of​ ​a​ ​once-thriving​ ​town.

The narrator​ ​of​ ​this​ ​novel,​ ​speaking​ ​through​ ​Robinson’s​ ​voice,​ ​is​ ​the memorable​ ​character​ ​of​ ​Billy Potter,​ ​who​ ​has​ ​to​ ​struggle​ ​with​ ​his​ ​own challenges​ ​throughout​ ​his​ ​tale:​ ​having​ ​to​ ​cope​ ​with​ ​the traumatic​ ​and sudden​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​his​ ​father,​ ​the​ ​strangely​ ​apparent​ ​dual​ ​personalities​ ​and erratic behavior​ ​of​ ​his​ ​mother​ ​and​ ​his​ ​strained​ ​relationship​ ​with​ ​her,​ ​the clash​ ​of​ ​the​ ​uber​-religious​ ​piety he’s​ ​been​ ​taught​ ​and​ ​the​ ​scientific learning​ ​he​ ​craves, ​and​ ​his​ ​own​ ​hazardous​ ​transition from​ ​a​ ​state​ ​of​ ​young ​boyhood​ ​into​ ​that​ ​of​ ​early​ ​manhood.​ ​

Failure​ ​of​ ​Fish is​ ​set​ ​in​ ​Western British​ ​Columbia​ ​during​ ​the​ ​early​ ​days​ ​leading​ ​up​ ​to World​ ​War​ ​I,​ ​which​ ​would​ ​soon​ ​become known​ ​as​ ​the​ ​“war​ ​that​ ​would​ ​end​ ​all​ ​wars.”​ ​It​ ​is​ ​here​ ​that​ ​Billy​ ​faces​ ​the​ ​uncertainties​ ​of​ ​a changing​ ​world and​ ​the​ ​realization​ ​that​ ​even​ ​the​ ​remoteness​ ​of​ ​his​ ​hometown​ ​of​ ​Stella’s Cove, British​ ​Columbia​, ​doesn’t​ ​provide​ ​adequate​ ​protection.​ ​It​ ​is​ another​ ​death–​the​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​his closest​ ​friend–that​ ​sharpens​ ​his understanding​ ​that​ ​his​ ​home​ ​is​ ​not​ ​really​ ​so​ ​isolated​ ​from​ ​the​ ​rest of​ ​the​ ​world​ ​after​ ​all.​ ​Although​ ​the​ ​novel​ ​was​ ​written​ ​in​ ​an​ ​older,​ ​sometimes obtrusive​ ​style,​ ​Mr. Robinson​ ​manages​ ​to​ ​recreate​ ​the​ ​heartaches,​ ​fears, and​ ​disintegrating​ ​realities​ ​that​ ​punctuate the​ ​process​ ​of​ ​maturation.​ While​ ​this​ ​is​ ​not​ ​to​ ​be​ ​considered​ ​in​ ​the​ ​genre​ ​of​ ​suspense​ ​thriller,​ ​Mr. Robinson​ ​does,​ ​indeed​, ​nail​ ​the​ ​sometimes​ ​shocking​ ​behavior​ ​of​ ​his characters,​ ​creating​ ​a remarkable,​ ​if​ ​scarring,​ ​final​ ​judgment​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ have​ ​abdicated​ ​their​ ​moral​ ​responsibility​ ​to the​ ​will​ ​of​ ​a​ ​group.

I​ ​would​ ​highly​ ​recommend​ ​Failure​ ​of​ ​Fish​ ​to​ those ​who enjoys ​hearty​ ​novels​ ​and​ ​historical fiction–especially​ ​those​ ​with​ ​heavy psychological​ ​undertones​ ​laced​ ​within​ ​the​ ​story.​ ​This​ ​book ​will not disappoint​ ​readers​. ​I​ ​found​ ​this​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​very​ ​deep​ ​and​ ​satisfying read.​ ​It​ ​did​ ​take​ ​a​ ​bit to​ ​get​ ​into​ ​the​ ​meat​ ​of​ ​the​ ​story,​ ​because​ ​the beginning​ ​had​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​set​ ​up​ ​and​ ​backstory​ ​to​ ​wade through,​ ​but​ ​once I got through that, ​I​ ​began​ ​to​ ​truly​ ​enjoy​ ​myself.


Reviewed By:

Author Michael Sorbonne Robinson
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 396 pages
Publisher BroncoJockey Books, LLC
Publish Date 2017-Jan-01
ISBN 9780692736417
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2017
Category Historical Fiction
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