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The Water Museum: Stories by Luis Alberto…
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The Water Museum: Stories

by Luis Alberto Urrea

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774221,213 (4.04)13
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I became interested in The Water Museum after reading the starred review it received from Kirkus. Upon further basic Internet investigation, I learned that Urrea is indeed an accomplished craftsman of contemporary literary fiction. Since I read a lot of literary fiction each year, these facts were enough to recommend the work as one likely to reward my time and effort.

Indeed, I was ultimately glad I discovered Urrea's writing. In this story collection, his narratives and the characters that peopled them were subtly rendered in skillful prose appropriate to that intended subtlety and the thematic depth maintained.

While I found it worthwhile reading, I did not find it a particularly outstanding work among those released last year. It was just a bit over-hyped, IMHO. One relative weakness I observed of Urrea's work that compared negatively with other quality lit fic was a tendency of his writing to veer extensively into pretty vague lyricism when the subtlety and style could have been preserved with more precise language as well as definite, dramatic resolution of the plots. ( )
  kara.shamy | Oct 12, 2016 |
Super collection of short stories with great characters and settings. Must read more by this author. Library book. ( )
  seeword | Dec 19, 2015 |
My favorite thing about Urrea is his ability to pull me into a world that is so distinct from mine. In[Into the Beautiful North, we start in a Mexican village threatened by drug traffickers and from there travel north to the U.S. In The Hummingbird's Daughter, we are transported to a Mexican village in the late 19th century where the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy rancher is believed to be a saint. Through dialogue and description, Urrea gives these worlds texture, but in The Water Museum, a collection of short stories, he is challenged to create multiple worlds in only a few pages, and he does. Each of these stories is told from a different perspectives. Several take us to the border town of Tres Camerones, but one is set in Iowa and another traces a road trip from Massachusetts to the west. One story, Carnations, is only two pages, yet still leaps off the page with texture and emotion. I have to admit that I prefer Urrea's novels, but I admire his ability to richly layer character and place in short stories as well. ( )
  porch_reader | Sep 27, 2015 |
What a wonderful use of language to express emotions and setting this author has. Sympathetic characters all, trying but failing to push back against cultural boundaries. Loved the first story, Mountains without numbers. There is something so melancholy and realistic about this one. Scenes like this are probably happening in dying towns all over America, people stuck in their lives remembering when their lives seemed much fuller.

Loved to Mr Mendoza, with his use of humor and magical realism, once again what is, is no more.

The sous chefs, I adored, so cliched and amusing. Done so well.
Water Museum, an apocalyptic of a world running out of water. Almost seems not to fit, but it does because once again something that is gone is mourned. What is not remembered proves frightening.

Such a wonderful collection.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Aug 3, 2015 |
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A collection of stories that explores the borders between people and nations includes "Amapola" and "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses.".

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Luis Alberto Urrea is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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