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Fishbowl: A Novel

Fishbowl: A NovelFishbowl is a whimsical tale about the intertwining lives of the occupants of a high rise in a large metropolitan city. What makes the story unique is that it is told by a goldfish named Ian who just happens to be plunging to his death from the twenty-seventh floor balcony.  Ian glimpses these lives as he falls past their windows.

The motley cast of characters includes the lonely building superintendent whose long hours and years of service go unrecognized by the tenants; a pregnant woman about to give birth; a construction worker with a secret life; a traumatized boy who believes he can time travel; a two-timing graduate assistant who learns, too late, that lying and love are incompatible; and an agoraphobic woman with an unlikely career.

In addition to these quirky people, the building itself is an amazing character. As the author states in the beginning of the novel:

The building fulfills an Arcensian mission of carrying everything mentioned thus far, housing the spirit and chaos of life and those beings in which they reside, through the floods and to safety every time the water recedes.

If you see this building, pause for a second to ponder what a marvelous Arcanum it is. It will sit there long after you turn the last page in this book and long after we are dead and these words have been forgotten. 

Fishbowl is a funny, wistful, and at times, erotic examination of human relationships and the ironic twists of fate. Here, Somer captures life in its complexity and inherent messiness.


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Excerpts is the library newsletter and comes out every three months. It is mailed to every Glencoe resident. Copies of the newsletter are available online (below) and at the library. Please be sure to check the library calendar for program updates.

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