"And when I finished the painting & looked at that poor leatherjacket which now lay dead on the table I began to wonder whether, as each fish died, the world was reduced in the amount of love that you might know for such a creature."
Richard Flanagan's 2001 novel has a title which would not normally tempt me and not being tempted by it would have been a great shame. A beautiful creation with a poetic bent, who knew fish could be so delightful when not served piping hot?
The main character, William Buelow Gould actually existed and was the artist responsible for the beautiful fish portraits contained within the book. Flanagan transforms this historical figure to create sketches of life through fish. While some of the depictions verge on the grotesque, there is something utterly compelling about this novel and rather difficult to describe. So, I think I'll leave this one to you to discover for yourself. 5 out of 5, reel this one in.