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party fish

At Will Bloom's wedding party, his father Edward recalls the day Will was born, claiming he caught an enormous catfish using his wedding ring as bait.

Will, having heard these stories all his life, believes them to be lies and falls out with his father.

Three years later, Edward is stricken with cancer, so Will and his pregnant French wife Joséphine return to his childhood home in Alabama to spend time with his father.

Edward's life is told through flashbacks, beginning with his encounter with a witch in his hometown, Ashton.

She shows him his death but he reacts to it without fear.

As he grows into adulthood, he finds his home too confining, and sets out into the world with a misunderstood giant, Karl, who is terrorizing the town by eating livestock and pets.

Edward and Karl find a fork in the road and travel down separate paths.

Edward follows a path through a swamp and discovers the secret town of Spectre, the cheery locals claiming he was expected.

There, he befriends Ashton poet Norther Winslow and the mayor's daughter Jenny.

However, Edward leaves Spectre, unwilling to settle down but promises Jenny he will return.

In the present day, Joséphine speaks to the bed-ridden Edward and asks him to tell her the story of how he met his wife Sandra, with Will listening outside the door.

Returning to his reminisces, Edward reunites with Karl and they visit the Calloway Circus, where Edward falls in love with a beautiful woman.