Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by American author Daniel Wallace is a modern example of magical realism that was published in 1998. At its center are Edward and William Bloom, father and son, whose troubled relationship is riddled with outrageous tall tales told by Edward and recalled by Will. A few stories are realistic truths, some are exaggerations, and many are outright lies. The tales include vicious beasts, a humble giant, a magic glass eye, a devoted wife, a dedicated doctor, and a dreamlike town called Specter. Made into a film by director Tim Burton in 2003, Big Fish blurs the line between fantasy and reality and questions what it means to live—and die.


See a complete Character List for Big Fish, as well as in-depth analysis of its most important characters.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in Big Fish.


Here's where you'll find important quotes from Big Fish and explanations of them.


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