Big Fish

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Daniel Wallace's Big Fish tells the story of a father and son trying to communicate and make up for lost time at the time of the father's death. In the novel, the father's death takes place in four different stories or "takes." In the midst of these accounts of his death, we are told through stories and tall tales just what the father, Edward Bloom, was really like. Throughout the story are one page chapters where the story shifts and the life of Edward Bloom is told by others and through this we are told what "they say" about him. It is in these pages where the real legend of Edward Bloom is discovered. These one page chapters not only help in portraying Edward Bloom as a legend, but also add to the uniqueness of Daniel Wallace's style of writing in Big Fish.

It is a well known fact that mankind and telling stories go hand in hand. Ever since the beginning of time there has been legend and folklore about villains, heroes, urban legends, and anything else the mind can conceive. Edward Bloom was a well traveled man and this prevented him from seeing his son, William, on a regular basis. It is in the one page chapters where we see many of the real aspects of Edward Bloom. The first occurrence of this is on page eight where we are told, "My father had a way with animals, everybody said so." We see yet another example several pages over on page twelve where we are told, "They say he never forgot a name or a face or your favorite color." Both of these quotes establish the fact that the legend and story of Edward Bloom is being told through the eyes of others. Another brief episode occurs on page 78 where we are told that "He was so fast it was said that he could arrive in a place before setting out to go there." This is another short, simple chapter to further help to establish the legend of Edward Bloom.

The one chapter pages in Big Fish are unique in that they are just a simple telling of the legend of Edward Bloom through the eyes of others....
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