Failure of Fish

Fiction - Literary
328 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

In a world where mob mentality often rules, we should all step back to review our own moral responsibility. It's a subject that especially interests and challenges me. Born into a home that encouraged loyalty to a group, rather than to my own moral actions, I have been challenged by choices. In the 75 countries I've visited, I've seen the long-term consequences of people who failed to choose based on their own moral convictions. Failure of Fish will both inspire and disturb my readers. It is a stirring study of the best and worst of mankind.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Failure of Fish by Michael S. Robinson, Sr. is a coming-of-age story that reads like a classic, a story with characters that will awaken all kinds of powerful emotions in many readers, reminding them of the dilemmas of growing up, the fears of transitioning into adulthood, and the question of moral responsibility. In this story, readers are introduced to young Billy Potter who, apart from dealing with the painful loss of his father, has to witness the moral decay in his own community and watches, albeit helplessly, as it sinks, but his mother’s duplicity will cause his heart to bleed in many places. Read on to discover his heartaches, including the loss of his best friend to the war that still rages in Europe. In all of this, what really defines the hero? Read on to discover for yourself.

This is a story with wonderful historical references, including the “war to end all wars.” The writing is powerful, espousing a style that reflects the historical period in which the story takes place, and readers will love how the author penetrates the minds of the characters and develops a conflict that is as relevant as it is exciting to watch unfolding. The reader is absorbed into the story, told in a gripping first person narrative voice, and shares the worldview of the protagonist. The setting is beautifully captured, a place called Stella’s Cove, with great natural features and a culture that veers heavily towards superstition. In this setting, readers encounter lively and well-developed characters; they experience the dynamics of life in a small, growing community, and the fears, the joys, and thrills of the people. Michael S. Robinson, Sr. has crafted a masterpiece in Failure of Fish; a story that will entertain and have readers spellbound from beginning to end.

Ray Simmons

I mostly read genre fiction. I’m not exactly sure why this is so, but I suspect that genres like science fiction, action adventure, and detective stories are easier for a young boy to jump into and understand, as opposed to mainstream literature. I started reading young. I grew up in my mother’s library, so it just seems natural that I would discover Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs before I discovered John Irving. But I did discover him, and I realized immediately that this was good writing. I knew that this was about life, in a way that Tarzan or Sherlock Holmes could never be, though I still love them dearly. I have discovered another mainstream literature book that is good and about life in all its sadness, irony, joy, and confusion. If you like or even love these kinds of literary novels, then you should most definitely read Failure of Fish by Michael S. Robinson Sr. It will move you.

I liked the writing. It is good. I just don’t have the patience for mediocre writing in a literary work. Mediocre is for the genres. The right genre can pull mediocre through if the story is plotted well, but if you write literature, then by God you need to know how to write. Michael S. Robinson Sr. knows how to write. Billy Potter is as real to me as if we met in a bar and talked all night. His story is real. His questions are real. He is all of us who think and feel a little too deeply for our own good. The setting is very well done. I have not been to Western British Columbia, it is not even in my country, but I feel I know it now, and you will too.

Rabia Tanveer

Failure of Fish by Michael S. Robinson, Sr. is a refreshing, coming of age story that will grip you tight and not let you go until you have read it till the end. The story is written in a unique narrative voice; you certainly don’t find many novels with this style of writing. This is different and challenging, which makes it perfect for readers who are on the lookout for something different than the usual, humdrum novels we read. The story is intense, engaging, and well thought out so that the reader can truly immerse themselves in the story and get lost in the pages for a few hours.

The story follows a young man by the name Billy Potter. The novel is set in the time of World War 1 and our protagonist learns about the world and himself in a harsh, yet very real way. Billy is just a teenager; he is fatherless and trying to deal with a changing world while he himself is changing with it. Growing up too early is never good and when one of his close friends dies, he realizes that there is no protection from life or the war. Sometimes, you have to grow up fast and fight your fights or else you will just float away and never come back.

What else can I say about Failure of Fish? It is a very smooth flowing novel; the perfect example of a coming of age novel that is unique, yet at the same time it is familiar to readers. You will connect with Billy and other characters because they are human and not some epic heroes that we see in other coming of age novels. The element of mystery and suspense is there, yet it does not overpower the theme of finding yourself and becoming your own person. This novel is unique and author Michael S. Robinson, Sr. has done a fantastic job with it.

Sefina Hawke

Failure of Fish by Michael S. Robinson, Sr. is a literary fiction novel that would appeal most to an audience of adult readers, over the age of eighteen, who enjoy coming-of-age hero stories. Billy Potter is a young man growing up in a small, remote town called Stella’s Cove in Western British Columbia during the start of Germany's first rise to power, and the war that comes as a result of it. Billy Potter watches his home town turn from thriving to desolate as the war touches everyone in different ways. Will Billy survive the times ahead or will he be swept away by the horrors of war?

Failure of Fish by Michael S. Robinson, Sr. may be a fictional novel, but it uses a compelling story to teach the important life lesson of moral responsibility. The book has a melancholy feel to it with how young Billy’s home town’s life and spirit were slowly but surely eroded and lost, and this indicates the horror of war. I liked the way the author made the book feel realistic as it provided a better grounding for teaching readers about the importance of being morally responsible. Billy made for a good main character and it did not take me long to come to consider him my favorite. I liked the fact that Billy was a sort of representative character of the author’s own views and opinions. Overall, I enjoyed the somber feel of the novel and the fact that I walked away from it feeling that I had learned a valuable lesson.