make the most of Lovereading twitter
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Reader Reviewed
Fishbowl by Bradley Somer


Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

A dive in head first and refuse to come up for air book - it’s unique, clever and quite quite wonderful. If at first you just dip your toe in and wonder where on earth you're being taken, don't bail out, as this quickly becomes a delightful and compelling read. Meet some of the occupants of the apartment building of Seville on Roxy, they are everyday typical people (apart from Ian the skydiving goldfish), however this 30 minute peek into their lives makes you feel as though you are simultaneously viewing the whole world. With beautiful compassion, Bradley Somer allows you to observe people from a different perspective. The short chapters, capable of evoking an assortment of emotions, flow as quickly as Ian does past each window. This isn't about answers or knowledge, instead Fishbowl encourages you to open your eyes, to ponder, to smile, to mourn… and applaud this refreshingly quirky tale. ~ Liz Robinson

One of our Books of the Year 2015.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Kerry Bridges - 'This is a brilliant book which will engage you, make you laugh and cry and want to turn the last few pages really slowly so that it doesn't end. Highly original and definitely recommended.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'Fantastic, clever and original story, I loved it.'
  • Marie Larby - 'Even the title of each chapter brings a smile to your face...I read it on holidays, and loved it.'
  • Victoria Emerson - 'I found Fishbowl to be an intelligently written, light hearted, enjoyable read.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'What a rollercoaster of a ride ‘Fishbowl’ is. For me this was a dream of a novel: sexy, funny, sad, and affectionate'
  • Laura Nazmdeh - 'A unique and entertaining novel told from the perspective of a goldfish that allows you to peek into the lives of colourful people.'
  • Judith Griffith - 'A throughly enjoyable read about the inhabitants of an apartment block, interspersed with Ian the Goldfish's journey to freedom! Funny, moving and a must-read!'
  • Jennifer Rainbow - 'I loved this book from the beginning, It's an authentic, riveting read with so much going on you won't be able to close the pages until you find out what happens next (especially to Ian the goldfish).'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Be sure to take longer than 30 mins – that’s the period of time the book covers – to read the creative, humorous and ambitious writing of this very stylish book.'
  • Poppy Osborne - 'Refreshing, funny and warm. Fishbowl is a such a brilliant novel that isn't just about a fish, its about us as humans.'
  • Gavin Dimmock - 'Funny, warm and evocative. A tale of Ian, the goldfish, and his terrifying fall from the 27th floor.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'Fishbowl far exceeded all of my expectations. Unique and very clever, full of humour and hope, this is a book you’re going to want to tell everyone about.'
  • Peter Land - 'A warm, light and amusing book of lives touching each other, as seen through a fish eye lens.'
  • Margaret Madden - 'A bright, comedic novel of substance...'
  • Ruth Carson - 'this is a charming and quirky novel which I would recommend to anyone wanting to read something a bit different.'
    Angela Rhodes - 'For me this was a dream of a novel: sexy, funny, sad, and affectionate.'
  • Annette Woolfson - 'Fishbowl is at times funny; quirky; unbearably poignant but ultimately is an uplifting read – which is strange given the earthward bound goldfish and the dodgy lift.'
  • Edel Waugh - '. I really enjoyed the way the book was written, it made me wonder what the lives of other people would be like who live in similar buildings. Loved this!'   
  • Oliver Keating - 'Every reader will want to know what happens to the Goldfish, you will have to read the book to find out. This book is a treat in store for anyone.'

The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse by Alexander Mccall Smith

One very lucky winner will receive a signed copy by Alexander McCall Smith of his latest novel, The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse. To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 4 January 2018. The winner will be notified by 15th January 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 04/01/2018


Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

Even a goldfish can dream of adventure...From his enviable view from a balcony on the 27th floor of an apartment block, Ian the Goldfish has frequent - if fleeting - desires for a more exciting life. Until one day, a series of unfortunate events give him an opportunity to escape...Our story begins, however, with the human inhabitants of Ian's building. There is the handsome student, his girlfriend, and his mistress; an agoraphobic sex worker, the invisible caretaker; the pregnant woman on bed rest; and the home-schooled boy, Herman, who thinks he can travel through time. And as Ian tumbles perilously downwards, he will witness all their lives, loves, triumphs and disasters...A truly original, philosophically joyful and charming novel with the unlikeliest of heroes. This is Tales of the City as seen by a goldfish.

Browse inside this book


'Amazing' Cosmopolitan

'Quirky, ambitious, with a touch of serendipity' Red Magazine

About the Author

The author, Bradley Somer, was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, was published in Fall 2012 by Nightwood Editions in Canada. Imperfections earned a starred review from Quill & Quire magazine, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year, was one of the Canadian Bookseller's Top 8 Picks for 2012, and has received a host of other critic's praises (I've included some of that review attention, below). Bradley has spoken for many radio interviews, festivals and literary events and he continues to tour with reading engagements. Fishbowl is his UK debut.

Below is a Q&A with this author

Have you made any unusual career moves in the past? My whole career path has been a little unusual. I trained and worked as an archaeologist for more than 15 years before switching into real estate and am now, slowly, making the transition to writing as a full time career.

What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are mainly related to literary endeavors. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. I attend local literary events and readings, shows, theater and am interested in everything related to the craft of the story, in whatever form they take. When I’m not doing these things, I am hiking, snowshoeing or visiting with friends and family.

What or who inspires you?
Taking a minute out to step back and watch how life works, and doesn’t work, is endlessly inspiring. With a little distance, the seemingly connected can be discerned as being totally unrelated and the blatantly serendipitous can be found to be intimately linked. Whenever I need inspiration, I consciously do this, take a break and watch.

Have you got any strong cultural interests – for example a particular passion for a genre of music or film?
I have a great appreciation for anyone who can make music as I think there is a special kind of magic in generating feelings using sounds and words… a magic that I am totally hopeless at even though I’ve tried playing instruments. Instead of making music, I’ve settled on having a collection of titles in the thousands, across many genres (mostly more contemporary) and have music playing every day of my life. Only my car will know how truly inept a singer I am.

Who are your favorite authors?
Rupert Thomson, Willy Vlautin, Craig Nova, Stuart O’Nan, J. G. Ballard

What kind of experience has writing your book been for you?
Every novel I’ve worked on has been an excruciatingly fantastic time. Each is a different experience and that is one of the many reasons I continue to write. Regardless of how easy or uncooperative a piece of writing is being, I find the process of playing with words is always a rewarding one. When working on a novel, building a world and a story and having it make sense is just a little more pleasurable than when I read a novel and get to build a world and watch a story unfold in my imagination.
Fishbowl was different from other novels I’ve worked on in that it had to be so intricately plotted as all the storylines work with, against and through each other simultaneously. The plotting for Fishbowl was the challenge and the process of writing it was like working on a puzzle of characters and events, putting the pieces together over the course of a few years.

Tell us anything about you as a working writer that you think might be interesting or unusual:
I’m a morning-time binge writer. It feels confessional to type that but I find a few hours in the early morning more productive than any time else to write. Perhaps its because the brain is still set to dream but story elements seem easier to manipulate in the early hours. I also write solidly for a block of days or months and then write nothing for a long span as well.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2016


Bradley Somer

More books by Bradley Somer
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website
Loading twitter updates...


Ebury Press an imprint of Ebury Publishing


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock