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TheBookofJules

TheBookofJules

"You must become so free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." -Albert Camus

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Review: Men Who Wish to Drown by Elizabeth Fama

Men Who Wish to Drown - Elizabeth Fama, Anna Balbusso

"It was a magnificent death. The impact rendered me nearly insensible, the icy chill dulled residual pain, water began to rush into my lungs. A man could suffer with his death, and I daresay most do, but mine had no agony. Have you wondered what dying is like? I shall tell you the end of it, the release, which must be the same for all men: Darkness folds around you, just as soft water closes around a stone tossed into a pond, claiming it."

There are a great many Tor.com short stories I have read without reading the novel they pertain to and enjoyed immensely for their content. This is not one of them. I enjoyed this for the writing contained within the story and for the emotion that played across the text without ever dragging me into it. This, I feel, could have easily been a five-star read, but I needed more insight into the world. The writing was beautiful. Haunting, poetic, melodic and tragic. I read the story swiftly and it left me feeling wistful and nostalgic, but I don't know what my nostalgia was for. I don't know what I miss, but this story made me miss something. It left a strong impression. 

(I should note that, in general, I don't really connect with letter-based stories. I find letters more impersonal than actually reading the story as it is happening to the narrator.)

It certainly makes me want to read Monstrous Beauty as soon as possible, so I suppose, if selling books is the intent of this novella, mission accomplished.