Before Big Fish was a movie, it was a book by Daniel Wallace. A rather short and fantastical one. I’m still reading it, but at this point, I really like the way it is written. It is in a very conversational tone, like a person (an old, Southern one) telling you tall tales. The chapters are arranged into stories that the character William is hearing/ has heard from his father – a dying man who, over his life, made himself into a local myth. In some ways, William is trying to distinguish fact from fiction, but ultimately, the line has been blurred and doesn’t really matter anymore. Something about the stories reminds me of some of Roald Dahl’s short stories from Kiss Kiss, but largely without Dahl’s darker elements.

When I go to the library I try to get groups of books that will go together, either thematically or in style. Since Water for Elephants inspired me about the circus, I’m glad that this book includes fantasticality and self-mythologization. Those are very circus.