What do Alfred Hitchcock, Kim Novak, theories of consciousness, the pet habits of New Yorkers, and world religions have in common?

The death of Bluie the fish, that’s what.

The July 4 issue of The New Yorker includes an article by Adam Gopnik, “Death of a Fish,” in which he tells the story of the passing of his daughter’s betta fish Bluie. This is the kind of writing I wish I could do. Twisting one thread into another, into another, into another. Gopnik skillfully twists together the life and death of Bluie; Hitchock’s movie classic, “Vertigo,” starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart; theories of mind and consciousness; the pet-buying habits of Manhatten parents; and after-life concepts from various world religions. It’s not only masterful, it’s very entertaining.

Read it if you can. Unfortunately it’s not online and is now off the newstands, but if you have a subscription and haven’t yet gotten to that issue, pull it out. If not, your local library probably has it.