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What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us: Stories Paperback – October 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
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Her main characters, all female, carry the same voice regardless of who they are, what age they are, and how they are feeling. Van den Berg seems to lack the ability to fully form her characters, and instead they seem to be mere versions of herself. And she must be boring.
Van den Berg utilizes exotic places, animals, and customs to try to hide the fact that the stories and characters themselves are flat, underdeveloped, trite, and dull. Her attempts to display "the human condition" are often cliched and overdone. An older woman haves an affair with a younger man, a failed actress wanders to a strange place trying to find herself, many women nurse broken hearts, and so on....
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The stories that follow are filled with cryptozoological beasts -- The Loch Ness Monster, mokele-mbembe, mishegenabeg, undiscovered primates -- yet these creatures remain on the peripheries, as elusive as the sense of human connection for which the characters search. These stories are really about loss of relationship, impending loss and its aftermath. We all want to know why it didn't work out. There are no answers here, but van den Berg forges a sense of connection through her work.
I was suprised to read on the backcover that this is a debut collection. The prose here is as polished as you'll find anywhere. The stories are beautiful, original and masterfully told. I'm looking forward to more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the book overall, but honestly, it was a tad depressing and the stories never have any resolution - which is the way they're meant to be, so can't complain about that. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anne Marie
Linked short stories.
A good read, especially on a kindle while traveling.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I double dog dare you guys to buy van den Berg's book/books (3) for that matter.
She is a master of the short stories. Read more
This is the sort of cloned junk the creative writing programs are turning out today, which is why America's most vital writers have never come from an MFA program. Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt
Her short stories are incredible and very thoughtful-----they make you think. Several of her stories brought tears to my eyes.Published on January 4, 2014 by Nita Marie Rizzo
What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us was a fantastic read. The stories in this collection are haunting and beautiful. Read morePublished on August 30, 2012 by George