The Water Thief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
read book* *Different edition

The Water Thief

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  40 reviews
CHARLES THATCHER is a private citizen, which is to say that he’s the private property of the Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation. He’s got problems: the cost of air is going up, his wife wants to sell herself to another corporation, and his colleagues are always trying to get him tossed into the lye vats.

But when he discovers a woman stealing rainwater, he sees his ch...more
ebook, 209 pages
Published April 22nd 2012 by Smashwords (first published April 20th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 506)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Martha Bryce
This is not a fun easy beach read but if I had my way, it would be on every high school required reading list. A futuristic, dystopian society, where all is valued according to its value, real or perceived to the corporation, The Water Thief carries within it the warning of the seeds that we Americans are sowing for our future generations. This is fiction that could easily become reality if we, the individuals, do not make the effort to change the seeds being sown. In its own way, it carries the...more
As one harbinger dies, another rises to take his place

It seems fitting that Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and the mid-twentieth-century prophet of today’s world, should have died this week. For those of us who ever doubted the veracity of his predictions, let us take a good look around, at a society that has grown increasingly alienated by endless reality shows on flat-screen TV’s, a constant feed of iPod music through our ear buds, and subsequent self-medication through junk food and r...more
More 2084 than 1984, Nicholas Lamar Soutter’s The Water Thief is set in a near-future dystopia where corporations have taken over from government, perception is more important than truth, and usurping a legitimate businesses right to regulate water might result in a death sentence—all for the common good of course. Socialism and big government are equally scorned as failed enterprises of the past. Human sympathy is the folly of the weak. And “futures” are sold, freedoms willingly traded off in t...more
This is my first Goodreads Giveaways book I received, and if all that follow entertain me as much, I will be quite happy.

For the story itself, I have to admit that when I began it, I thought "oh dear, this guy is a great storyteller but this seems to have a biased agenda of anti-capitalism". While I enjoy the dystopian genre, I sometimes get a headache when people are too much against one certain thing, as though they had given no other issues a probing look as well. Upon reading some of the com...more
3,5 stars.

I hesitate how to rate this book. The premise certainly gets five stars. There are many dystopian books, but most of them deal either with a tyrannical government or with a post-apocalyptic future where society has collapsed. Society has not really collapsed in "The Water Thief". There is social order, order where unbridled capitalism and corporations rule.

The problem with the novel is its execution. Not that the writing is bad, or that there is no plot. But sometimes I had the impre...more
One of the most extraordinary novels I've read. It's not really science fiction. It's too close for that. The hero Charlie Thatcher, is Everyman in a cubicle. In a future where the libertarian ideal of "the invisible hand" has run amok, where air and water are not free, but must be earned from the corporation, where Greed is not merely good, but God, Charlie finds himself through a girl (natch), and comes to deal with the casual paranoia and cruelty of his society. In a world where every social...more
3.5 stars
This book was a Goodreads giveaway I received in the mail.

The plot of this book surveys the influence of corporations and the power they wield over individuals. The protagonist, Charles Thatcher, questions the shape of his environs and grapples with understanding why things are the way they are, how they came to be and how to cope/change the current course of his environs.

I found the world Charles found himself in to be one that is psychologically chilling. The premise of a world cons...more
I am so excited to have won my first book! I can't wait to read it and post my review!
6/28/12: The author contacted me directly, asking me to read & review his self-published novel. I agreed, but have only been able to get to it in installments. Now, however, I should be able to finish it. I must say, it's pretty good. Review pending.

7/5/12: Right after I wrote the in-progress entry, above, I ran into a long segment consisting of two characters talking about life under a republic, almost a Socratic dialog, and I thought "uh oh." My premonition was correct, for this long conve...more
Ever since H.G.Wells wrote When the Sleeper Wakes, dystopian societies have been a favorite subject amongst authors and readers alike. Twentieth century's writers painted vivid pictures of multitide of such societies and they let our imagination run wild.

After Battle Royale of Koushun Takami in 1999, the standard of dystopian literature took a deep plunge. With the release of the The Hunger Games trilogy, the quality of such works reached an all time low. The success of such books also make us...more
Sarah Weathersby
I really wanted to love this book. I first got into dystopian novels in high school in the '60s with George Orwell's 1984, and Animal Farm. I even wrote a term paper on the works of Orwell, after I also read some of his earlier work including Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Coming Up for Air. I was the first person to check both of those out from the public library.

I love the concept of fighting against a society where capitalism rules. Everything is for sale. Parents sell futures on their childr...more

This book really reminded me of a movie I recently watched with Justin Timberlake called 'In Time' (2011). This movie is set in a futuristic age where people live to the age of 25, then a clock on their wrist activates and counts down a year. Time is actually the currency of this world, and you work to get more time, you use time to buy the things you need, etc. It was actually really really good so I recommend you check it out.

The reason why I am bringing this up is that in this movie, there i...more
Reasonably well written, the spelling is good and the punctuation is meticulously correct. The book has a plot based on an interesting contrivance: government is dead and gone, corporatism has won the day, and every human interaction has a financial accounting context. I found the narrative tedious and boring, there's no relief from the deadly, asocial mutual victimization. There's no story arc, no narrative thread, wooden characters and contrived conflict. The author intends this to be a counte...more
OK, remember when the nasty waiter in Dirty Dancing hands Baby the copy of "Atlas Shrugged" and says, "Give it back to me, I have notes in the margins?"

THIS is the book Baby should have handed back to him. This book details everything that is wrong with Ayn Rand's view of the world and what really happens if you let the "free market" take over. It is a case for regulation not as a limit to the market but as a critical protection for the human beings the market is supposed to serve. This book is...more
Yep, 5 stars because this book will stay with you for a long time. A world where capitalism is king, and selfishness is taken to a new level. Fair warning, there is not much that is warm and fuzzy about this book, it is most definitely a serious read.
This book imagines a world sometime in the future where the form of rule is Capitalism and everything - and I do mean everything - is for sale. From the moment you are born you have a value and your futures are bartered and sold by your parents. You have a computerized ledger that tracks your "caps" and you pay for your air, your water and even your friends. In this dystopian world we meet Charles Thatcher, a mid level employee of Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation - or rather he is owned...more
May 25, 2012 Brantley rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Those who have studied political philosophy prior to reading.
Recommended to Brantley by: Author's review request
Shelves: fiction
The author of this work posted an add somewhere on Goodreads asking for people to review his work. I enjoy dystopian works, so I put down Brave New World for a day to knock this one out.

I tend to stay away from reviewing fiction most of the time. Something in me does not want to be overly critical of a world that does not actually exist. Therefore, I will only touch briefly on the design of Mr. Soutter's world of corruption. Instead, I will cover the implications of the work and the entertainme...more
Remy Benoit
This work by is an absolute must read for everyone who holds precious freedom of choice.
Indeed, it is a must read for everyone who cherishes life, growth, creativity, love, freedom.

We are besieged by the machinations of the corporate world, by lobbyists, by political spin, by rough riding unlimited campaign contributions designed to buy votes. We are cheated in school by often being given 'feel good history' as opposed to real history in all its blood, pain, growth, war, victory, failure, nastin...more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Engulfed in politics, philosophy, and the workings of the human psyche (whether such workings be for better or for worse), The Water Thief engages in the very same debate which has quite recently brought many people to simultaneously admonish the ideals held under socialistic values and praise - often with a sense of national pride - the individualistic sense of autonomous detachment which the Age of the Corporation endures.

The story provides a level-headed ap...more
4 1/2 Stars

What an incredibly intelligent and interesting read! The world building was well-developed and very believable for a possible future. A future completely controlled by corporations in which citizens are classified by how useful they are to the corporation they are tied to. A future where everyone's perceptions of the world they live in are closely monitored and manipulated by the ruling corporations. A future where the corporations are the ruling power; governments have been long sinc...more
Gil T.
When it comes to dystopian type stories, “1984,” “A Brave New World,” et. al, there is always a lesson to learn or a possible warning about how certain extremes can create a bleak future. This book is no exception. “The Water Thief” tells of a near future where democracy is not only dead, but that it was killed by capitalism. I remember reading Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged,” and learning that corporations and the rich are needed for the world to continue to exist. This book approaches those...more
I was very excited to receive this as a Goodreads giveaway. :)

The premise is excellent but the execution lacking. I have the same complaint with Soutter's characters that I did with Ayn Rand's: they are one-dimensional devices created to express the author's philosophy. The main character is written as a clueless idiot so that he will ask questions in order to give the other characters a reason to launch into a monologue of their ideals. The story is an excuse to hold a debate on capitalism, and...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Review originally posted at Layers of Thought.

John’s quick take: A dystopian tale about what happens when corporations and capitalism replace government and democracy.

John’s description: Charles Thatcher belongs to Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation, one of the biggest corporations in a near-future world where all governments have disappeared, to be replaced by businesses whose only concerns are making money and beating the competition. Generosity and free access to anything are believed...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
3.5 stars

Did I enjoy this book: What can I say? I’m a sucker for Dystopia. I chuckled at the Easter Eggs in the first few pages (though now I’ve got an undeniable urge to dig out my copy of Lord of the Flies), and once things progressed far enough that libraries started to be named after railroad lines I was hooked.

The Water Thief is thought provoking and extreme, and though at times it felt a bit preachy, I didn’t mind too much.

Would I recommend it: If you’re a fan of dystopian novels (especial...more
Excellent story. Soutter has created a truly dismal world in which corporations are the rule of law and a person's value is based solely on how much revenue they can generate for whoever owns their future. A situation that is not nearly as far-fetched as it should be.

The problem with a novel based on an ideology is that it must be masterfully crafted so the ideology doesn't overpower the narrative. That, I think, is the one failing of "The Water Thief." The story slows at points to allow various...more
Stephanie Wolf
In a futuristic society where one is ruled by Corporations, everything costs caps, even rainwater and air.

Sarah Aisling, who once was very well off but decided that was no life, stole rainwater and was arrested for her crime. Charles Thatcher decided this was something to write about, as that was his job at Ackerman Brothers Securities, finding topics for stories and getting paid for it.

The more he thought about it, the more it intrigued him. He began to dig deeper into her past. When he could n...more
Sammy The Bookworm
Read the full review at!

Everyone belongs to a company and everyone is only worth as much as they can bring in for their company. Betrayal will result in death or worse. Charles Thatcher is struggling to make an income and his wife selling herself to a different company is not helping. When the chance to turn a small encounter into a huge news article comes up, he takes it. But he regrets his actions which most likely led an innocent gi...more
Excellent. Set in a (sadly) believable dystopian society at some unstated time in the future, post-fall of the government and wherein NYC is an uninhabited wasteland where bits of the past can be unearthed in something akin to an archeological dig. The free-market has taken the place of government, a fee is charged for the air one breathes, and children's "futures" are sold to corporations when their parents can't cover their debts. And if the debt gets too out of hand, a person will ultimately...more
Nicholas Lamar Soutter was kind enought to send me a copy of this book to review. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in a future where coroprations rule day to day life and democracy is a broken thing of the past, The Water Theif follows the story of Charlie Thatcher as he evolves from just one of the cogs of the machine trying to make it through the day to sort of a revolutionary. His adventure begins when he orders a "fiend" because in this future friends much be compensated for their time. He begin...more
Jenee Rager
The author sent a copy of this book to my friend, and I was lucky enough to get to borrow a copy. I have a major weakness for dystopian fiction, and this is one of the better examples I have read. I love the imagination that goes into creating these future universes. The Water Thief is a bit political and makes you think about what could happen if we continue to allow big business to control "the little people". If we don't put a stop to this now, and quit assisting those less fortunate than our...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
  • Roots of Insight (Dusk Gate Chronicles, #2)
  • Self-published version: At the End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel (The Road to Extinction, #1)
  • Suffocate (The Breathless, #1)
  • The Dark Age (Survivors of the Pulse, #2)
  • Against the Light
  • The Keepers
  • Target Audience
  • Eden's Root (Eden's Root Trilogy, #1)
  • Sihpromatum - I Grew My Boobs in China
  • The Time Weaver (The Time Weaver Chronicles #1)
  • The Intruders
  • Mayan Interface
  • Tundra 37 (A New Dawn, #2)
  • Spook House (Harmony, Indiana, #3)
  • The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black (The Young Inventors Guild, #1)
  • Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb
  • The Forbidden Trilogy
  • She's My Dad
The Water Their

Share This Book

“Sarah Aisling: I can’t defend against these charges because I can’t afford a litigator. But I can’t afford a litigator because I’ve been charged.

Judge: You should have had insurance against contract suits.

Sarah Aisling: I did.

Judge: So what’s the problem?

Sarah Aisling: They canceled my insurance when I filed the claim.

Judge: So sue them!

Sarah Aisling: I can’t, I don’t have a litigator.

Judge: That’s very cute, Mrs. Aisling.”
“Never tell the same lie twice. Lies have to be fresh, constantly changing. You cheat on your spouse, come up with a new excuse every time you're home late. Don't, and you get eaten.” 3 likes
More quotes…