‘Life In A Fishbowl’ by Len Vlahos [Book Review]

Earlier this year I heard about a new release with an incredibly interesting premise: what would you do if you found out that you were terminally ill and had to provide for your family? Life In A Fishbowl by Len Vlahos addressed this question, so of course I read it as part of the 2017 Reading Challenge.

Title: Life In A Fishbowl
Author: Len Vlahos
Released: 2017
Pages: 328
Category: #21 A book from a nonhuman perspective
Rating: 7/10

“Love, she figured, can make us weak-kneed and wobbly, but when it needs to, it can make us stronger than steel.”

When Jackie Stone’s father Jared is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, he decides to take his life into his own hands: selling his life on eBay in order to achieve financial security for his family. With the bidding attracting worldwide media attention, the Stone family find themselves on the TV screens of every household in America.

The novel challenges perceptions of what is seen in the media versus what is happening in reality. There is a large and eclectic cast of characters, one of the more notable of which is Jared’s brain tumour, who himself has his own personality. It’s certainly a strange book, but it includes powerful and important messages and themes.

I think that this book posed some relevant and poignant questions about terminal illness, assisted suicide, and Big Brother. Where it perhaps didn’t deliver was through the sheer number of perspectives we as the reader are subjected to: there are so many voices that sometimes I found myself switching off. Despite the narration, this novel is certainly one of the most unique pieces of literature that I’ve ever read, and that can only be a good thing.

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