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Throughout William's childhood, his much-absent father, Edward, regaled him with tall tales of his exploits as a young man. But now that his father is dying, William must get to know the real Edward Bloom, before it's all too late. Inspired by the fragments of stories he's gathered over the years, William recreates his father's life in a series of legends and myths, through which he begins to understand Edward Bloom's great feats - and great failings - at last finding a way to say goodbye.