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Fish in the Skyby Fridrik Erlings
Synopses & Reviews
With passion and humor, an Icelandic author tells the coming-of-age tale of a boy navigating lifes changes in all their angst and ecstasy.
Josh Stephensons thirteenth year starts with a baffling sequence of events. His estranged father has just sent him a taxidermied falcon for his birthday. His flirty seventeen-year-old girl cousin has moved into his house, using his bedroom as a passageway and taking bubble baths in the unlockable bathroom. And now hes gone AWOL from school to escape the locker-room teasing about certain embarrassing anatomical changes. On top of all that, hes in love, but wondering if dreams of love can ever come true. Hiding out in his secret hollow in a big rock by the sea, Josh tries to figure out once and for all: is his life being sucked into a black hole, or is this just being thirteen?
"Icelandic author Erling's pensive, meandering novel, previously published in 2008 in the U.K., opens on 13-year-old Josh Stephenson's birthday, which marks the beginning of months of internal turmoil and questioning. Josh lives with his overworked mother in Iceland; he yearns for his absent father, a sailor, who sends him a taxidermied falcon, which he and his best friend plan to make the star of their nature magazine. Tormented by his attraction to an older cousin, Gertrude (who has temporarily moved into his mother's house), and following a humiliating school incident, Josh distances himself from friends and family and decides to skip school indefinitely. During his respite, he wanders rugged Iceland, rolling thoughts and ideas over in his mind about the nature of existence and freedom. While Erling (Benjamin Dove) builds a sensitive portrait of teenage transformation with dashes of humor, beautiful observations, and a close look at the chaos that lies below the surface, the story lacks a decisive plot. Heavy use of figurative language and Josh's overly mature voice burden the novel's message about the pain of growing up. Ages 12 — up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Fridrik Erlings is a screenwriter, graphic designer, musician, and author of the YA novel Benjamin Dove. In 1986 he founded the Sugarcubes with Björk before leaving music to pursue writing. He lives in Iceland.
"Fish in the Sky is about the extreme pains and joys of being a teenager, the curious period in our lives that we all experience in more or less the same way regardless of our culture, country, race, or gender. Perhaps it is the one time in our whole lives when we are in fact the most perfect human beings well ever become. The question is: where will we go from there?" — Fridrik Erlings
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