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The Waterproof Bible
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The Waterproof Bible

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  663 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A magical story of love and the isolation that defines the modern condition - Andrew Kaufman pulls off the near impossible and creates a wholly original allegorical tale that is both emotionally resonant and outlandishly fun.

Rebecca Reynolds is a young woman with a most unusual and inconvenient problem: no matter how hard she tries, she can't stop her emotions from escapi
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Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 23rd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,318)
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Corey
Kaufman has a true taste for the metaphorical. The pages of his Bible are suffused with totems, and religions, and floods, and sudden blindness. What it all means is entirely up to the reader, and there will doubtless be a few who find The Waterproof Bible not to their liking. The tale is just barely linear, and most of the outlandish events that occur are left unexplained. I would argue that when the trek is this much damned fun, it doesn't matter if you're left a little bewildered at journey's ...more
Suzanne
Oh-so-weird and oh-so-wonderful...but isn't that what Andrew Kaufman does best? All My Friends are Superheroes still holds the top spot for me, but I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed Born Weird, which is to say I enjoyed it very much. While I initially was drawn in by Rebecca's story (filling up shoeboxes with her emotions -- brilliant), it was Aby who turned out to be my favourite in the end -- her out-of-water journey was just spectacular.
Marcella
Oh Boy-I love Andrew Kaufman's writing. His first, All My Friends are Superheroes was a perfect little book, and this, his 2nd is also truly wondrous. Funny, smart, magic realism meets Canadian landscape meets tight writing...
Martin Clark
A surreal and wonderful tale. The story includes a woman who broadcasts her feelings to everyone around her unless she traps them in an object and stores it in a box; underwater cities so much like our own they have skyscrapers and insurance clerks and fundamentalist religion; and an inhabitant of one of those cities, a green-skinned, gilled woman named Aberystwyth, driving to Canada in a Honda Civic to save the soul of her mother.
I'm sure it's meant to be allegorical, but I love this kind of qu
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Rachel
It was definately an interesting read. The book was very strange, and I'm still not sure it went anywhere, but I could hardly put the stupid thing down. I'd recommend it if you're feeling philosophical or want to be confused.
Wiebke (1book1review)
This is such a great read. I love the characters Kaufmann creates. They are so average and out of the ordinary at the same time, it is just amazing.
Petra Kidd
The edition I read had a different cover, it had a frog on the front and was published by Telegraph books. Loved the cover but shame on the publisher/editor for the spelling mistakes, you did not do the author justice by allowing such proofreading sloppiness.

Never mind, I did enjoy this beautiful and unusual book. I think it could have gone a little deeper with the characters and been expanded in many ways. Towards the end it did feel rushed as the chapters became very short. Well done Andrew Ka
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Peter Darbyshire
A woman tries to stop projecting her emotions into the minds of those around her by instead channeling her feelings into possessions, which she hides in a storage facility. A man builds a sailboat in the middle of the Prairies, despite there being no water nearby — until father and son rainmakers make a catastrophic appearance. A woman from an aquatic civilization searches for her mother, who has hidden herself among the land dwellers and is running an abandoned hotel. A musician has an uneasy r ...more
Jim

Back in the good ol’ days there was real and unreal and that was it; it was one thing or t’other. Then all these other realisms started appearing: surrealism, magic realism,hyperrealism, neorealism, pseudorealism. Suddenly it all got very confusing. Confusion, of course, is a state of mind. And if you were looking for a state of mind in which to approach The Waterproof Bible I would aim for this one: Things only get confusing if you let them get confusing. Accept what’s presented on the page as
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Tessa Ditner
Funny and tightly written with unexpected twists and turns. Huge amount of imagination has built this book. I was drawn to the title and cover which screamed 'quirky!' I'm not sure if this is magical realism or fantasy but liked that ambiguity anyway.

The chapter endings were fantastic, with lovely subtle cliff hangers. But not cliff hangers in an obvious way, more in a 'here's a nugget of lovelyness glued to the end of the chapter' way.

Wonderful to have that frog-perspective on human life even
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Liane
I have to admit, I initially, whole-heartedly judged this book by it's cover; you would too because the edition I have is GORGEOUS. Coral fabric hardcover, with the title in gold and the partial dust jacket depicting waves in blues and greens and yellows. Unfortunately the guts of the book were less memorable than its skin. I wished that the ending was more drawn out; as it is it feels rushed. I enjoyed the story for its weirdness and imagination but it didn't leave much of an impression overall ...more
Louise
I have to be honest I don't actually know what this was about...but I enjoyed it a lot......full of quirky characters in fairly normal circumstances...
I liked the idea of people being gable to feel your emotions and storing them all.
the whole aquatic thing to me was a side story to the interplay between most of the characters,who amusingly rarely met.
Clare
I liked this! Quirky and a little weird but I was drawn in to each of the storylines. I started out most interested in Rebecca, the character who projects her emotions, but in the end I loved Aby, the Aquatic who was so driven to rescue her mother.
Keith Blodgett
This story was darker and more convoluted than either of the other two books of Kaufman's that I've read. This story jumps around telling bits and pieces of several arcs which had always been one of my least favorite story telling styles. Just as I get invested in one part of the story we switch to a new viewpoint, lather, rinse, repeat. There was also the attempt to create a language and a religion both of which felt... rushed. I read and liked the book but had I started with this one I probabl ...more
anexactinglife
The Waterproof Bible is a novel written in a humorous, modern style, and you are surprised when it turns out to have fantastical elements in it. The main character, Rebecca, has the unfortunate ability to broadcast her feelings to everyone around her, whether she wants to or not. She becomes incapacitated when her sister dies, and her brother-in-law does not seem to care. Enter a green Honda Civic-driving alien with mother issues, and things start to get really weird! Interestingly, this book's ...more
Amy Boughner
Andrew Kaufman writes wonderful characters, and nothing makes sense until it all does
Nicole
I waver between 3.5 and 4 stars...but I found this a really interesting read. As with all the Kaufman books I've read so far, there is a lot of metaphor and the way he writes lends itself to careful reading (or rereads) because of it. Like the title implies, but the blurb less so, there is a lot of religious commentary which could also be taken less literally to be commentary about non-religious dogma as well.

I liked the way the different characters' stories connected and the ways they crossed p
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Lauren
I began this book by really enjoying Rebecca's story, including her unusual emotional quirks - then things got weird. Really weird.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Some sort of human-fish hybrid race is living in Earth's waters, and other than that I really can't tell you too much about the plot because it was weird. The "Aquatics", and that entire story line, seemed really out of place to me. I felt I was ready two entirely different books throughout the novel, and although the author did have the various plot l
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Pasteurisiert
Pasteurisiert mit 5 von 5 Sternen. Eine neue Leseerfahrung!



Andrew Kaufman beginnt seine Geschichte mit einem Knoten, von dem aus die Handlungsfäden auseinandergehen und neue hinzukommen. Am Ende treffen alle Fäden wieder aufeinander.

Unglaublich, wie Andrew es schafft so viele Bilder in meinem Kopf entstehen zu lassen. Ganz nebelig kann ich ab Mitte des Buches den weiteren Verlauf erahnen. Ich beschleunige mein Lesetempo, weil ich es nicht mehr erwarten kann mehr zu erfahren. Fesselnd steuert al
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Helen Brown
Andrew Kaufman creates worlds where the magical coexists with the mundane and weird things don't need to be explained, they just are. Emotions can be stored in boxes in self-storage and there's a race of green beings that live underwater and have strong religious beliefs. The style of writing is beautifully matter of fact about all the strange things going on with throwaway moments of humour. There are so many ideas crammed into this book but they all fit together and feel like part of the story ...more
Sonia
This was another one that I picked up on the Amazon special offer thing before I went on holiday. I had read both All My Friends Are Superheroes and The Tiny Wife, and I know that I generally like the surrealness of Kaufman.

Rebecca Reynolds has a problem. She has always been unable to stop herself from transmitting her feelings to everyone around her. In an effort to bring an end to this, she stores away mementoes that she attatches her emotions to.

However, on the day of her beautiful musician s
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Kelly
Rebecca Reynolds has a problem. Like a reverse sense of empathy, she has the ability to broadcast every emotion she feels to everyone around her. To solve this problem, she traps her feelings in personal objects and locks them away in Unit 207, E.Z Self Storage.

This becomes a problem when Rebecca's beloved sister Lisa dies and both she and her musician brother in law Lewis are forced to confront their grief in weird and totally unexpected ways.

An accidental near miss between their funeral car an
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Ellie
Aberystwyth is searching for her estranged mother who was banished from her underwater parish when she pointed out to her parishioners that their religion is all lies. Just stories, and that living on dry land isn’t a sin; that having the ability to exist both underwater and in air is a blessing. The rust is about to set in and Aby still believes that if her mother dies with air in her lungs, her soul will never find peace.

I really benefited from this being a book group choice. Whilst I enjoy An
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Suad Shamma
Lewis - "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
God - "Because it makes a good story."

Andrew Kaufman has succeeded in creating a literary classic with this one. Magic realism at its very best, The Waterproof Bible is a quirky, whimsical story dealing with the oddest mix of characters you will ever read about, who all intersect each others' lives in one way or another over the course of a few days.

You have Rebecca, an extraordinarily ordinary woman who involuntarily broadcasts her emotions onto
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Priya Bhakta
What I like about Andrew Kaufman is how he writes about ordinary people and makes them extraordinary through their flaws. All My Friends Are Superheroes is the perfect example of this but it's true of all his stories. For me, The Waterproof Bible didn't quite hit the mark. I loved Rebecca and Stewart and even thought Aby's story was an interesting premise but there was just something that was missing. it didn't feel quite tied together.
Victoria Roe
Weird! But very good. I really enjoyed the various elements of the story and how they all came together. In themselves, they could all easily be separate novels but you never feel like you're not getting enough detail to keep the book going.

It felt like it took a while to get going, staying deliberately cryptic a little too long. Despite that, I really enjoyed the book and read it pretty quickly - a sure sign I'm engaged.
Erika
I want to give this 3.5 stars, but Goodreads doesn't allow the half star rating. I loved Kaufman's "All My Friends are Super Heroes", so much that I went looking for this one. And I wasn't disappointed. Completely out of genre for me, this was an unusual kind of love story with hidden gems of life wisdom. I love how easily Kaufman allows you to believe the unbelievable. Why couldn't a giant frog woman drive a white Honda Civic in downtown Toronto? Witty, whimsical, poignant are all words that ca ...more
Sooz
another quick read. it's short and odd, but it carries a lot of emotional weight. a character says the only difference between a happy ending and a sad one, is where you decide the story ends and that - as well as anything can - sums up the flavour of this book.

Kaufman writes such a damn quirky fable and does so with utter conviction. as absurd as his characters are, he believes in them and gives them their voice. and as is the case with most fables, we can learn much from what they have to say.
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Corinne Wasilewski
This book didn't make sense to me on so many levels, but, maybe that's just me with my penchant for logic. There were contradictions in the "factual" elements of the story as well as major gaps in narrative that left me scratching my head. Not only that, but, it was eerily close to being a self-help book on owning one's feelings (shudder).
Marie-Clare
I think I'm a bit in love with Andrew Kaufman's imagination. I read All My Friends are Superheros and was completely charmed. I'm pleased to say the same about the Waterproof Bible.

I find his writing style bewitching, it's somehow so simple yet really captures a lovely depth of emotion in some hugely imaginative characters and scenarios.

This novel follows the story of 4 intertwining characters dealing with distinctly different yet entirely linked situations. The characters were all flawed and l
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ANDREW KAUFMAN's critically acclaimed first book, All My Friends Are Superheroes, was a cult hit and has been translated into six languages. Kaufman is also an accomplished screenwriter, film-maker and radio producer and has completed a Director's Residency at the Canadian Film Centre. He lives in Toronto with his wife and their two children.
More about Andrew Kaufman...
All My Friends are Superheroes The Tiny Wife Born Weird Les Weird The Complete Cinnamon Bay Sonnets

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“- the only difference between a happy ending and a sad ending is where you decide the story ends.” 21 likes
“...a river season will last as long as it takes you to reach your new
place. If you get into the river and let it take you where you need to
be, your river season will last an afternoon. But if you fear change
and struggle and hold on to the rocks, the river season will last and
last. It will not end until your body becomes exhausted, your grip
weakens, your hands slide off the rocks and the current takes you to
your new place.”
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