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Goulds bok om fiskar : en roman i tolv fiskar (2001)

av Richard Flanagan

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,6774510,295 (3.66)114
Once upon a time that was called 1828, before all the living things on the land and the fishes in the sea were destroyed, there was a man named William Buelow Gould, a convict in Van Dieman's Land who fell in love with a black woman and discovered too late that to love is not safe. Silly Billy Gould, invader of Australia, liar, murderer, forger, fantasist, condemned to live in the most brutal penal colony in the British Empire, and there ordered to paint a book of fish. Once upon a time, miraculous things happened...… (mer)
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» Se även 114 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 44 (nästa | visa alla)
Overblown. Delectable. I love it. I will never read it again. Very fun in its concrete literature genre. Exhausting. A very good author. A subpar example of his work. All of the above. (Yep, I'm confused.) ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
Very religious book, beautiful and unique imagery but a lot of fluffy stuff, too much, I lost momentum two thirds into it and it took a month to get back and finish it, there were definitely a lot of passages that felt like Flanagan was speaking rather than Gould, it is a story full of profound moments that keep you hooked and give insight into the characters and yourself and the chaos of that time in colonial history but there were so many metaphors about the sunrise and the environment and shit like that didn't need it. I love an abstract and non-conventional transformation like this and i liked the book but it will take a long time for me to read it again. ( )
  BAGGED_RAT | May 16, 2023 |
Fiction. Hints of Gulliver's Travels, dashes of Cloud Atlas, stir in some Life of Pi, and just a table spoon of Vernon God Little. I initially had trouble getting into the story and picturing the multitude of different characters. What are these fish the main character is so involved in, and what do they mean. Who's story is being told? Having basically read the second half of the book in one flight from Moscow to Amsterdam, I feel that I haven't done the book the justice it deserves. In contrast to the non-fiction I these days seem to pick up more, this type of fiction deserves an open mind, awareness that you are being deceived and only after reading the final page do I know how I would go about reading this book. I promise to reread next time I fly to Moscow and then finish it within a week. ( )
  Herculean_Librarian | Sep 10, 2022 |
I absolutely loved this book. ( )
  jaydenmccomiskie | Sep 27, 2021 |
Dear reader, if you decide you want to read this book, I have one burning hot tip for you: don't read The Fatal Shore immediately before it. Friends and wife told me this book was dark, disturbing etc... which it certainly would have been had I *not* been reading FS at the same time. But I was. So many of the dark incidents in Flanagan's novel are taken almost verbatim from Hughes' history that I couldn't really take them seriously the second time round.

This points to a larger problem for Gould's, for me at least: the book is so obviously built from other books. The Fatal Shore is the most obvious, but also, for instance, Ulysses, Heart of Darkness, Moby Dick, the poems of Rilke, Buddhist texts (definitely) and, possibly, Blood Meridian. So my reading experience consisted almost entirely in train-spotting of a fairly uninteresting variety.

That said, I'm still an academic at heart, so:

* Like Ulysses, Gould's is overly structured. Each chapter has at the very least a governing fish, a governing character, a governing characters and, to some degree, a governing style. Do you find this kind of thing interesting? I do so decreasingly.

* Like Rilke and various Buddhist texts, there's a lot of stuff here about escaping from being human, searching for immediate experience and essentially just wanting to be a rock, because rocks don't do anything (or, at the very least, don't do anything wrong). (Also, there are *direct quotes from Rilke*. The anachronisms aren't crippling, but the tiresomeness of writing from the perspective of a non-literary type who is obsessed by Wordsworth and Rilke... well, just write from the perspective of a literary type if you want to do that).

* Like every other book you've ever read, Gould's involves a lot of stuff about how love will save us all blah blah blah. Odd that it never works, even in books. Almost as if love wasn't actually enough to save anyone, but that the thought that it were is enough to salve the consciences of wealthy Westerners.

* Like Moby Dick in the USA, Gould's is an allegory of Australian history. This is more my style. Less my style are the magical realist elements, but I accept that that is just subjective opinion. If you like magical realism, you'll probably like this--it's the Australian version: these aspects of Australian history (so the story goes) are unspoken, and (the book implies) can best be brought to the surface by allegorical/surrealist style. The fact that the book retells much of the story of the Fatal Shore kind of puts a dent in this, but for an Australian at least, it's fun to imagine that our history is important enough to require literary attention.

* Like every postmodern book you've ever read, there's lots of recursiveness here. I don't find that particularly interesting in this case--the novel stands without it, and it adds nothing other than the obligatory "oh, literature, it's so unreliable" garbage (really? because I thought literature was a scientific observation of sub-molecular reality!), but perhaps you will.

But I'm in quite a bind, because what I think is most valuable about the book is its willingness to deal with major intellectual and historical questions. The style is a bit tour-de-forcish, rather than being really enjoyable; the structure, as I said, is externally imposed and adds little. But the ideas are well worth thinking through.

I was worried, I confess, when we got the dull "oh, I'm just a character in a book, I have to destroy the book because words and art are just so constricting of my natural immediate experience" stuff. And I was very upset when this was somehow combined with the "love will save us all" stuff.

But then, so close to intellectual disaster, Flanagan saves his novel in the last few pages: Gould admits that these two positions are completely contradictory--that love is fundamentally human and cultural, not natural. And yet Gould *feels* them both. That's interesting.

So, I'm not sure this is the masterpiece so many people claim, but I am sure it was well worth reading, and I'm excited by Flanagan's ambition. From what I can tell, his recent award winner is, well, not so ambitious. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 44 (nästa | visa alla)
Richard Flanagan schreef een sublieme roman die voor de eretitel in aanmerking komt en die de verbeelding inzet tegen de misdaden van de geschiedenis.
Gould's Book of Fish van Richard Flanagan, is echter alles wat een Great Australian Novel kan zijn, en nog veel meer.
Gould's Book of Fish is een verhaal dat Rabelais, Sterne, García Márquez, Swift, Dickens, Joyce, Melville, Walt Whitman en nog heel wat andere schrijvers in herinnering brengt, in zijn uitbundigheid, humor, archaïsche verteltrant en ouderwetse horror.
tillagd av sneuper | ändraNRC Handelsblad, Corine Vloet (Aug 23, 2002)
 
Of the many extraordinary aspects of this novel, the most immediately obvious is its appearance.
In its persistent concern with transformations, melding and minglings, and their opposites - fixity, category and class - Gould's Book of Fish is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice books, with their endless transmogrifications, their portmanteau creatures and their jumps of scale and size.
What makes Gould's Book of Fish remarkable is its reconciliation of metafictionality with humanity. For while it is pervasively self-conscious, it is also a humanly troubled book: ferocious in its anger, grotesque, sexy, funny, violent, startlingly beautiful and, perhaps above all, heartbreakingly sad.
Flanagan has written a book whose uniqueness mirrors its principal theme - the dangers of classification. I urge you to read it.
 

» Lägg till fler författare (5 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Richard Flanaganprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Blommesteijn, AnkieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Bower, HumphreyBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Brinkman, SophieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Vastbinder, MiekeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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My wonder upon discovering the Book of Fish remains with me yet, luminous as the phosphorescent marbling that seized my eyes that strange morning; glittering as those eerie swirls that coloured my mind and enchanted my soul--which there and then began the process of unravelling my heart and, worse still, my life into the poor, scraggy skein that is this story you are about to read.
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Once upon a time that was called 1828, before all the living things on the land and the fishes in the sea were destroyed, there was a man named William Buelow Gould, a convict in Van Dieman's Land who fell in love with a black woman and discovered too late that to love is not safe. Silly Billy Gould, invader of Australia, liar, murderer, forger, fantasist, condemned to live in the most brutal penal colony in the British Empire, and there ordered to paint a book of fish. Once upon a time, miraculous things happened...

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