Customer Reviews for

Unfamiliar Fishes

Average Rating 3.5
( 102 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

wow

Does it is really matter if it's 'god' or 'God'? Instead of caring maybe you should get a job or something....

posted by 3582010 on March 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Sarah Vowell, disappointed

Really, has she done anything original since "The Partly Cloudy Patriot"? I used to look forward to her books, but could not get through Wordy Shipmates" and now this one is just a bash America, God, and let me tell you about my nephew to excess. Sorry, used to love he...
Really, has she done anything original since "The Partly Cloudy Patriot"? I used to look forward to her books, but could not get through Wordy Shipmates" and now this one is just a bash America, God, and let me tell you about my nephew to excess. Sorry, used to love her, won't get fooled again.

posted by AFINCH on September 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    wow

    Does it is really matter if it's 'god' or 'God'? Instead of caring maybe you should get a job or something....

    7 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    History Nerds will like

    As a history nerd I always enjoy reading Sarah Vowell. She makes me laugh at the mistakes that people of the past have made and always gives good insight to their motives of why they did what they did. I enjoyed Unfamiliar Fishes but I there was a lot borrowed from previous books which gave me less insight than I usually get from her books. But this book is still very interesting and I enjoyed it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    History Lite (1/3 the context, same great beaches)

    I do enjoy Sarah Vowell's books, but her editors may want to adjust the settings on the snarkometer. Sometimes a wry and sardonic tone is appropriate but it seems too often in this book, she substitutes pop culture references and asides about Owen for actual explanations of Hawaiian culture and history. (For instance, there is way more significance to the hula than the ones she discusses.)

    I've also got to say that there must be some topic which Sarah cannot somehow bring back to the Trail of Tears, but I don't know what that topic would be.

    Overall, it's an amusing, quick read but you're not really going to learn much you didn't already know about Hawaii (says the woman with the Hawaiian brother-in-law).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    In this context, it is properly god, not God.

    It's like the difference between "hi, Mom," and "she said hi to her mom." Or "the president" and "President Obama."

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Sarah Vowell, disappointed

    Really, has she done anything original since "The Partly Cloudy Patriot"? I used to look forward to her books, but could not get through Wordy Shipmates" and now this one is just a bash America, God, and let me tell you about my nephew to excess. Sorry, used to love her, won't get fooled again.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Not her best, but still a feast for lovers of history

    In Unfamiliar Fishes, you'll find everything that you usually find in a Sara Vowell work, incisive research, witty observation and a spot on comparison between the historical subject and the modern day. I would never say that the history of Hawaii was ever a topic that I was particularly interested in, however she finds the right angles to draw the reader in and engage them in the subject matter. That being said (and I hope that I am not the only Sarah Vowell fan that is disappointed by this), I really believe that the Trail of Tears is the definitive subject matter that seems geared toward Vowell's interests and strengths. Don't get me wrong, I believe that Unfamiliar Fishes is an interesting read, one could argue it is a vague sequel to the Wordy Shipmates, but its limited in scope and, again, touches upon similar themes to her last book.

    Also, what's her deal with New Englanders? I once drove up to Northampton, MA and went to one of her speaking events...her reception of the audience, as well as, her approach to the event was completely cold...its like she wanted to get out of there as soon as possible...considering her constant digs in the past two books, I have a feeling its not just based on history....

    Also....its god with a small g

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    History of Hawaii

    If you like Sarah Vowell, you will like this history of Hawaii. Since Hawaii is my favorite vacation spot, I try to learn of its history and relate to its inhabitants. Vowell deals with the imperialistic takeover of Hawaii and retells native stories through her unique wit (and sarcasm). The diehard star-spangled patriot may cringe, but Vowell has done her homework. I find no fault with her facts. She makes history enticing and forces the reader to view it from a non-textbook perspective. Her storytelling is irresistable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Amazing

    She takes a difficult, painful chapter in U.S. history and relays it in a witty, sarcastic manner that is sure to grab the attention of today's slightly jaded readers. Sure to make those who thought they knew the history of Hawai' i think twice....maybe even three times

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    Just another why I hate America book

    I started reading this book with such high hopes. I was not familiar with this author but the reviews were amazing. Sadly, wihtin the first 20 pages, I realized where this book was going. Yeah, I get it, American imperialism was bad. However, the condescending tone and obvious hatred of our beloved country and religion oozed from every pore of this book. I have since learned that Ms. Vowell is an NPR America basher. I would have loved a straight up history book, even showing the ugly side of America's actions, just without the caustic rhetoric.

    1 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    i want sarah vowell

    to be my girlfriend

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Love this book! Loaned it to someone who taught Hawaiian history

    Love this book! Loaned it to someone who taught Hawaiian history and she said it was good, which was high praise.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    Wow

    Im five feet tall 11 years d and weight 321 lbs no jok

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    To kitty

    Its nothing but a prank i pulled on someone yesterday just ignore it. Sorry!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    ?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Shadow

    Growls at a fish and tackles it, devouring every bite.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Rogue

    "It's a pack. It is peaceful", he barks in a raspy voice.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Mistyclaw

    Waits

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Elders Den

    Elders Den

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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