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We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter
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We Live in Water: Stories (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Jess Walter

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2062156,890 (3.96)28
Member:JackieBlem
Title:We Live in Water: Stories
Authors:Jess Walter
Info:Harper Perennial (2013), Edition: Original, Paperback, 192 pages
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We Live in Water: stories by Jess Walter (2013)

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This was a collection of short stories by Jess Walter. Most of the stories were about men who had hit a rough patch in life and were working to get beyond it the best they could. The characters in the stories all seemed like real people with realistic problems and reactions. Some of my favorites were "Anything Helps," which was about a homeless man trying to stay on the wagon and raise the money to buy his son a Harry Potter book; "Thief," which is about a man who suspects that one of his children is stealing change from the family vacation fund; "The Wolf and the Wild," which is about a man doing court ordered community service at an elementary school in a high poverty area; and "Don't Eat Cat," which is about a man who lives in a world where a recreational drug is turning people into zombies. Not only were many of the stories moving, but they also felt complete despite being short stories. I never got the feeling that it was ending before there was closure. I definitely recommend this collection. ( )
  Cora-R | Apr 11, 2016 |
from the new book box; a set of stories set in author's town of Spokane, current day. I can't tell how much is fact vs fiction. My favorite was "Going to Cardboard", about the way a homeless man pan-handles. I never thought about the homeless figuring out the different angles to get money. Most of the tales were uncomfortable to read, but very well written ( )
  nancynova | Aug 20, 2015 |
A collection of short stories. Some were good. Most were average. None will stick with me. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Giving this five stars - such great writing and stories but also SO depressing. Sometimes I thrive on this kind of darkness but I need something much lighter now. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Apr 10, 2015 |
Witty and deep...the title story is especially good. ( )
  jimnicol | Sep 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Fortunately, Walter is a bighearted man who excels at writing about other bighearted, if broken, men. That generosity of spirit, coupled with Walter’s seeming inability to look away from the messy bits, elevates these stories from dirges to symphonies. For Walter, we do live in water, an immense soup of muddled humanity sloshing around and spilling over, soaking us all. Everything is a reflection of everything else, with no such thing as disconnection. Or isolation. Or edges. Or solid ground.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Allison Glock (Feb 8, 2013)
 
Not every writer thinks of his stories as troubled offspring, but in Mr. Walter’s case it’s a fair description. ...Nobody in this collection’s 13 pieces can be described as headed for anything but trouble.
...The short form has allowed Mr. Walter to assemble his most bleakly funny, hard-edge book in years.
added by ozzer | editNew York Yimes, Janet Maslin (Jan 31, 2013)
 
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"We Live in Water, the first collection of short fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made him one of our most talked-about writers. In "Thief," a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family vacation fund. In "We Live in Water," a lawyer returns to a corrupt North Idaho town to find the father who disappeared thirty years earlier. In "Anything Helps," a homeless man has to "go to cardboard" to raise enough money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book. In "Virgo," a local newspaper editor tries to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope. And the collection's final story transforms slyly from a portrait of Walter's hometown into a moving contemplation of our times."--from cover, p. [4]… (more)

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