The Fish and the Not Fish by Peter Markus

I must preface this review by saying that I have the highest respect for people who do what is clearly Their Own Thing. I think it takes a fantastic amount of courage to go out there and create something that you know won’t be commercially viable and that most people probably won’t ‘get.’

And with that being said, I really don’t get Peter Markus.  All the way through The Fish and the Not Fish, all I felt was simply confusion. I kept waiting for there to be a point to something, but that never happened. There are some elegant and beautiful turns of phrase, a few passages that almost went somewhere, but then it would fizzle out and we’d be back in the land of nonsense.  Reading this book is like doing so many drugs you can’t remember your own name and then trying to follow the plot of a children’s film.

For clarity’s sake, let me produce a typical quote from the book:

We like to go to where the road goes, though the road does not take us as far as we would like it to go from that place in the woods that we don’t like to call home.

Home is where the dust is and dust, when you see us walk on down this dust kicked up road, it is dust that is what rises up from our dust skinned skins.

I mean, it’s interesting in a way, and Markus is without a doubt using words in a very different manner. I wouldn’t call it bad. But I did not really want to read an entire full-length novel made up of these sentences. I could not be absorbed by the story, because I was never quite sure what the story was.

And this is really all I have to say on The Fish and the Not Fish.  I’m sure it will appeal to someone, but that person is not me.  Sorry, Markus! If you, however, are interested in checking it out, it was published in July of this year and is available on Amazon.

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