Fish in the Sky, written and translated into English by Icelandic author Fridrik Erlings, is a sincere tale about a thirteen-year old boy named Josh Stephenson. Throughout the novel, Josh navigates his way through the often treacherous and humiliating phase of teenage-hood, while strange events make his life even more confusing. A distanced father, a stressed mother, a promiscuous older cousin, a stuffed falcon, a best friend and a few not-so-nice characters shape Josh’s interesting story. As he learns to cope with new thoughts and feelings, Josh decides to take a “break” from school and roam the Icelandic countryside. On his journey, Josh delves into his thoughts about life and experiences, giving the reader lucid insight into the mind of the protagonist.
Fish in the Sky is composed of beautiful sentences. Descriptions of expansive countryside, dialogue, and introspection create variety in the prose. Although Fish in the Sky is elegantly written, I felt it sometimes rambled for a bit too long and focused heavily on Josh’s maturity, which seemed forced for a thirteen-year old. I enjoyed Fish in the Sky, and would recommend it to anyone interested in an unusual appreciation of a teenage boy’s mind.