Books

We Live in Water

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We Live in Water

Genre: Fiction; Author: Jess Walter; Publisher: HarperPerennial Library

Walter’s recent best-seller, Beautiful Ruins — an elegant page-turner about the convergence of Old and New Hollywood — was the glamour novel of 2012, an attractive accessory that fit nicely in name-brand beach bags. The characters who populate this collection of short stories, We Live in Water, come from a different demographic: They’re largely the down-and-out regular guys who get hit hardest by tough economic times. But Walter isn’t as concerned with unifying themes as he is with small, funny, sad moments, such as a tired working stiff discovering that one of his kids has been stealing from the family change jar, or a drug dealer getting duped into doing a good deed that very much goes punished. One story takes place in a zombie apocalypse — but even that one brims with humanity. A-

Originally posted February 8 2013 — 12:00 AM EST

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