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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
If the incisiveness of short stories is as fascinating for you as it is for me, then you cannot resist Joseph Riden's The Marlin. This concise but very meaningful tale is not long, but it is remarkable both for its message and for the richness of detail that only true stories can have. In The Marlin: A Couple, Their Boat, Fishing, an Improbable Strike, the tale is set in the 1980s and is very simple. We meet only two protagonists, Evan and Jess. They are aboard their boat, Tin Hau, and it happens that they catch a marlin. They are successful and yet there is something more important that matters here.
As I wrote before, The Marlin is not a long book, but it teaches you something. Its storyline does not have unexpected turns of events unless you consider unforeseeable the appearance of the “title role.” However, it compensates with minute descriptions of the characters’ actions that allow you to have a clear image of what is going on. A graphic novel could not be more explicit. Moreover, in just a few pages, Riden teaches an important lesson that we all should learn as quickly as possible. The Marlin is a story about respect for nature. Human beings should be aware of this concept and put it into practice. In this case, nature means the sea, and the considerations about it are concise but eloquent enough to invite reflection. I enjoyed The Marlin a lot, and I am sure I will remember it as a delightful read.