We Live in Water by Jess Walter
Stories

80%

5 Critic Reviews

Walter's got a great ear and a genius for sympathy with America's new dispossessed.
-NPR

Synopsis

The first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, We Live in Water is a diverse suite of stories marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made him one of America’s most talked-about writers.

Stories in We Live in Water range from comic tales of love to social satire and suspenseful crime fiction. Traveling from hip Portland to once-hip Seattle to never-hip Spokane, to a condemned casino in Las Vegas and a bottomless lake in the dark woods of Idaho, this is a world of lost fathers and redemptive con men, of personal struggles and diminished dreams.

In title story “We Live in Water”, a lawyer returns to his corrupt hometown to find his father, who disappeared 30 years earlier. In “Thief,” a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family fund.

“Anything Helps” sees a homeless man try to raise money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book; and in “Virgo,” a newspaper editor attempts to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope.

Also included are “Don’t Eat Cat” and “Statistical Abstract of My Hometown, Spokane, Washington,” both of which achieved cult status after their first publication online.

 

About Jess Walter

See more books from this Author
Jess Walter is the author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, the Edgar Award-winning Citizen Vince, Land of the Blind, and the New York Times Notable Book Over Tumbled Graves. He lives in Spokane, Washington, with his family.
 
Published February 12, 2013 by Harper Perennial. 194 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for We Live in Water
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Allison Glock on Feb 08 2013

...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.

Read Full Review of We Live in Water: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Jan 31 2013

Like the other stories in this book “Thief” first appeared elsewhere; in this case Harper’s.

Read Full Review of We Live in Water: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Hannah Rosefield on Aug 31 2014

Many of the stories take place in the north-west United States: Seattle, Portland and Walter's hometown of Spokane, Washington. But like the earlier novel, We Live in Water deals unsparingly and sympathetically with men – and it is all men – struggling with bad choices and failed ambition.

Read Full Review of We Live in Water: Stories | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Feb 14 2013

Walter's got a great ear and a genius for sympathy with America's new dispossessed.

Read Full Review of We Live in Water: Stories | See more reviews from NPR

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Lionel Shriver on Jul 11 2014

Since 13 stories should be plenty for a collection, maybe the best compliment we might pay the author is to object that this book is too short.

Read Full Review of We Live in Water: Stories | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for We Live in Water
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 190 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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