“Diary of a Small Fish” by Pete Morin

ImageThis is an absolutely first class read, both in terms of style and content. Like so much great fiction this book builds on a great deal of personal experience and a wide local knowledge. Based on truth may not be an accurate enough descriptive, but based on true-life certainly is. The first person view only increased my sense of connection with the characters. I am not like the main Paul Forté at all, but for the time it took me to read this book I thought I really could be. He is an easily recognisable character, the jovial success that is so often both popular and the subject of seething jealousies.
This is not so much a book about a small fish that is getting fried, as about a dirty struggle for dominance in a world of variably moral and immoral egos. We smell the fishy stink of politics and its connections with the law. The main character and defendant is an intelligent and quick witted character, the sort of success in life that most can only aspire to equal. We see that even the successful and socially popular have their enemies. These malignant characters seeking revenge for some unknown family slight, or some perceived wrong. The fish could have been from any city in North America, but the fact that these characters are painted into an apparently accurate backdrop of the great city of Boston greatly adds to the interest.
I really felt drawn onto the streets, into the restaurants, law courts, into the backrooms of Massachusetts. I am certain there is a paralleled real life legal history behind much of Morin’s invention, helping to make the plot so convincing. However, I have not the least idea as to what bits of the tapestry are or were real, which bits of legalise are case-law and which bits exotic invention, but Morin made every location, every character and every event as believable as my dinner. Then there is the golf! The sport, the life-style, bores my socks off, but whilst reading this book I loved the game and the intricacies of its exacting codes of behaviour; the writing is that good.
That Morin’s first book wasn’t picked up by one of the majors is just one more humongous nail in the coffin of traditional publishing. I am of course writing against this day’s background of exploding independent publishing, and the majors continuing and self-inflicted implosion. (May 2012).



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