We Live in Water
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We Live in Water : Stories

3.9 (4,145 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From New York Times bestselling author, the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter--a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite

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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0061926620
  • 9780061926624
  • 359,569

Back cover copy

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.
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Review quote

Incrementally, profoundly, brutally, [Walter] pulls back the curtain "We Live in Water" is a great collection, in fact, and an important contribution to the literature of our region. --"Portland Mercury""
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Rating details

4,145 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,125)
4 44% (1,814)
3 23% (940)
2 5% (201)
1 2% (65)
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