Finding Fish Book reviews


Author(s): Antwone Quenton FisherDownload  


The memoir of Antwone Fisher’s miraculous journey from abandonment and abuse to liberation, manhood, and extraordinary success. “A striking and original story of the journey from troubled childhood to self-aware adult.”Soon to be a major motion picture starring and directed by Denzel Washington, Finding Fish is the memoir of Antwone Fisher’s miraculous journey from abandonment and abuse to liberation, manhood, and extraordinary success–a modern-day Oliver Twist.Baby Boy Fisher–as he was documented in his child welfare caseworkers’ reports–was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single mother. After beginning his life in an orphanage, Antwone was placed in a temporary foster home until, around age two, he was transferred to a second foster home. It was there, over the next thirteen years, that he endured emotional abandonment and physical abuse. Removed from this foster home not long before his sixteenth birthday, Antwone found fleeting refuge in a boys’ reform school but was soon thrust into the nightmare of homelessness.Though convinced he was unwanted and unworthy, Fish, as he came to be known, refused to allow his spirit to be broken. Instead, he became determined to raise himself, to listen to social workers and teachers who intervened on his behalf, and to nurture a romantic heart along with a scathing sense of humor and a wondrous imagination–all of which sustained him with big dreams of a better day. Fatefully, just as Antwone’s life on the streets hit rock bottom, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he remained for the next eleven years. During that time, Fish became a man of the world, raised by the Navy family he created for himself.Finding Fish shows how, out of this unlikely mix of deprivation and hope, an artist was born–first as the child who painted the feelings his words dared not speak, then as a poet and storyteller who would eventually become one of Hollywood’s most well-paid, sought-after screenwriters. But before he ascends those lofty steps, Antwone’s story takes us from the Navy to his jobs as a federal correctional officer and then a security guard at Sony Pictures in Hollywood. In its climactic conclusion, the mystery of his identity is finally unraveled as Antwone returns to Cleveland to locate his mother’s and father’s surviving family members.A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher’s gritty yet melodic literary voice, Finding Fish is an unforgettable reading experience.

Some Reviews: 284 in


Chana rated it     

Antwone learned to write, and I think I have forgotten how. I am that “without words” after reading Finding Fish. It touched on a lot of potential sore spots with me and I am still leery to poke at my psyche and see how sore these sore spots are.
Antwone is a ward of the state of Ohio. He was born to a mother who was in jail and unable to care for him. His father was already dead although he would not know that for many years. He was basically told nothing about his background by the state, and his foster mother just kept reiterating that he and the other foster children, Dwight and Flo, were not part of the family and were not wanted. She calls them “nigga” all the time (she herself is black and from the south) and tells them how worthless they are and how no one wants them, that is why they are at her house. They are never given gifts(including Christmas) or even the money that the state allocates for their allowance. The punishment is often corporeal and even more frequently psychological. The state is unaware of all this of course, but as time goes on there are suspicions that all is not as it should be. It doesn’t help that case workers are switched so often.
Antwone is lucky in some ways though, partly due to his personality, partly due to various mentors and teachers. The story ends with him at home with his wife and 2 year old daughter; a happy, successful, loved and loving man.
Unlike a lot of unhappy/abusive childhood memoirs, Antwone makes his adult life as he sorts things out and makes a success of himself, very interesting. The book is good through the last word.
Identity is a touchy subject, especially for children who are not kept by their blood families. As an adopted child I can tell you that that identity thing pops up regularly along with the feelings of worthlessness, rejection and sadness. I really admire Antwone, he is a powerhouse and totally made a success of his life. Very inspiring.


Amanda  rated it     

Antwone Fisher’s “survival memoir” made me feel the full spectrum of feels. From horribly uncomfortable to hopeful and inspired.
I felt repulsion, and I felt admiration.
I felt so much regret for Antwone that his next of kin weren’t tracked down in his early life. I felt that his case workers and the state of Ohio failed him, despite being one of few sources of occasional kindness in his upbringing,
But I also felt gratitude and a sense of pride toward our country and our military.

I appreciated reading his thoughts on writing / becoming a writer.
And his insights on the human spirit:

“If ever a person needed one thing from this world, it was Dwight, and his need for love… He was like a huge, intricate human mechanism with its one missing gear that kept it from working. With love, Dwight could have been someone to impact on the whole society. He was that special and that smart.. But without love, Dwight didn’t work, and I believe everyone lost out.”

I didn’t love the structure of the book, but I felt invested in Antwone, and it evoked strong feelings.
Antwone Fisher is an exceptional human. He didn’t just survive, he eventually thrived. Much of the content of his story is tough to swallow. It’s heartbreaking, but triumphant.

Samuel Burt

Samuel Burt rated it      

Finding Fish is the memoir of Antwone fisher also nicknamed “Fish” Given away in the title. Written with detail and thought, Antwone fisher recalls his past sharing every single detail. It tells his life journey from a young boy and his difficulties in school and foster home to his adolescence and later years in adult hood with a successful screenwriting career. It has quite the amount of emotion and visual effect that a good book would have, using lots of descriptions to really give you a picture of the things he had been through. Overall it is a feel good story of a troubled child who finds his own inner true being within the world. It made me think of how lucky I am to be raised in such a loving environment with good parents and to never take anything for granted because it can be taken away quickly. He uses his motivations also to push him through tough times and reach his dreams but never forgetting what he had been through. This emotional story of sorrow, joy and even triumph is a must read for anyone who enjoys reading memoirs or an uplifting story, if you have free time pick this book of the shelf i bet you won’t be disappointed!


Rachel rated it     

This book really touched my heart and I’m sure a huge part of that is because I work with children every single day who live in situations similar to what “Fish” grew up in. Antwone’s story is inspiring and a great rememinder that good things can come from even the crappiest of circumstances in life. That we should never underestimate anyone because of where they come from. If anything, we should use Antwone Fisher as an example of what we can become if we just make it a challenge to better ourselves. I’m hopeful that a child (or many more than that) will grow to remember me like Fisher remembered those select few individuals in his life who had a positive impact on the man he grew to become. That I can use what I learned in this book (to be kind, to encourage, to trust my gut when I suspect things behind the scenes in a child’s life aren’t what they appear on the surface) and use these things to make the lives of the children I work with daily better. Truthfully I went back and forth on reading this book, knowing it’s a “memoir” and that’s not normally something I’m into. Now I’m glad that I did.

Phino DeLeon

Phino DeLeon rated it      

I found this book backwards, as I have heard it said. I saw the movie only to find out it was based on a book! I immediately sought it out to get the “rest of the story!” I am always amazed to discover the ability of the very young to overcome what may be debilitating or even suffocating life situations. Mr. Fisher is one who made it. I know that everyday there are children passing into adulthood with similar life experiences that we never hear of, and thankfully through some stroke of luck they grow up to be responsible adults breaking the cycle.
In this book we meet Mr. Fisher who after being born to a incarcerated mother, grows up in institutions and foster homes. He is able to escape by joining the navy, where through structure and discipline, he becomes a man of the world, also he learns that he has a voice inside his pen. Gritty and inspirational, Antwone’s story is what can happen when you believe that you current situation does not have to define your future life! My hope is that you enjoy this story as much as I did.
P.S. the movie was great also,


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