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Men Who Wish to Drown
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Men Who Wish to Drown

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  260 ratings  ·  67 reviews
From the Falmouth Historical Society Collection

Cited as the only extant firsthand record of a mermaid encounter in New England waters, this deathbed letter from a great-grandfather to his great-grandson is more likely an instructive fiction--a parable of regret. Supposedly corroborating the mermaid story, a ship's log (in the collections of the Provincetown Historical Muse
ebook, 32 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Tor Books
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136th out of 522 books — 1,021 voters
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Community Reviews

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"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 short stories I have read
“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.”

When you have nothing to do, go to

Elizabeth Fama wrote the only mermaid story I have read and liked, Monstrous Beauty. This short is a good prequel, could have been better, could have been shorter, but couldn’t have had a better moral.
And that’s all I ask for a short story to have. No perfect characters, no perfect story line, just a good moral. And this one has it.

Anyone kn
Cati Kennedy
Mar 27, 2015 Cati Kennedy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ¡¡Todos!!
Recommended to Cati by: Denisse
«In my nineteenth year I tasted the nectar of truly living, and I might have leapt over the chasm of the ordinary into the ravishment of an ecstatic extraordinary, but I turned away from it.

[...] I will not recount my many instances of weakness except to say that at every turn I have chosen the safer, narrower path; I have planted potatoes instead of wild roses; I have drunk water instead of wine.

[...] I was a fool»

Esta es la carta de un bisabuelo a su bisnieto, hablándole de los remordimien
The best way I could think to describe the feel of this story is as a "salty sea-dog tale" written appropriately in an epistolary style. As is characteristic of seamen's yarns, it is mysterious and wistful and full of tense longing and regret… all of which is pretty impressive for such a short story.
I was intrigued by the blurb for Monstrous Beauty, and since I probably can't get my hands on that book for a while, I jumped at the chance to read this short story. I think it's a sort of prequel or a teaser - not really sure about that - but it definitely got me even more interested in reading the novel.

The story is basically a letter from Resolved "Henry" Stanton to his grandson, delivered after his death. It recounts his encounter with a mermaid, Syrenka, and how it changed his life. The sto
Janus Vielle (The Blair Book Project)
Men Who Wish To Drown is a story written in a form of a letter by Resolved Henry Stanton. This letter was found amongst the collection of the Falmouth Historical Society of records of mermaid encounters in New England waters.

Resolved Henry Stanton’s letter was addressed to his great-grandson, Thomas, where he told a story of how he met an extraordinary creature of the sea. Although the society deems it a fictional tale of a man on his deathbed, the question still remains to those who read this
 ᴍɪᴄs *that kind of girl*

No puedo evitar pensar que el viejo era un boludo, tenía que "Let it go...". C'mon, hombre. No solo dejó a la chica sino que se paso toda la puta vida arrepintiéndose por eso, ni el mismo se permitió ser feliz ni le dio una oportunidad a su vida con Martha. O sea, jodete. Alpiste perdiste. Get over it.

No me vengas con boludeces, me pareció sentimentalismo barato y me recordó que no soy una persona sentimental.

PD: Soy tan cruel.
4 out of 5 stars

This is a short Mermaid story that I would recommend you reading after you have read Monstrous Beauty, other wise you may be confused. It is a well written great addition to Monstrous Beauty just tying in more of the pieces and I just love the romance and the choices that are made and the consequences that they all have to live with in this world that Elizabeth Fama created! I personally loved this short story because all the things I liked about Monstrous Beauty this had and all
Seeing Double in Neverland
For Full Review go to http://seeingdoubleinneverland.blogsp...

4 out of 5 stars

It is a well written great addition to Monstrous Beauty just tying in more of the pieces!
Mairéad (is exploring a floating city)
5 Stars it deserves it!

A lyrical ballad of love. Spine-tingling and heartbreakingly beautiful. Now this is what a mermaid tale should be written like. Touching and moving, I just really hope the story did resolve itself despite not really knowing what happens next. I only which it was longer.
Wow, this was great!
This short story was as well-written, vivid and compelling as the mermaid it portrays.
Ana Rînceanu
I love it when mermaid stories are done well. I'm going to pick up Monstrous Beauty at the next opportunity. Fast paced and engaging, I like the writing in this story of regret and I'm ready to meet Syrenka to see what she's made of.
Gabrielle Carolina
Men Who Wish to Drown is a fabulous companion to Monstrous Beauty- which happens to be one of my favorite books of the year.

Fama's writing is vivid and heart-wrenching and her MC of choice is provoking and genuine. I loved every second of it.

And I wish this cover were the actual cover of the novel! It's my favorite of the three!
Now I really want to read Monstrous Beauty!<\i>
Fama can definitely write. Haunting and beautiful.
Not actually a novel, but a short story. Available on, this is a great story about love, regret, and mermaids.

I'm always cautious with mermaid stories. Like a lot of fairy tale creatures, they're easy to do too rosy-sparkly or too melodramatic dark. This story seems to catch the middle ground, a mermaid who is enticing, enigmatic, and exotic, but still strange and divorced from humans. She is other without losing her appeal, which keeps us sympathetic to the narrator of the story.

How beautiful is that cover? The writing is just as beautiful and magical!

jo mo
Jan 08, 2014 jo mo marked it as dropped
Recommended to jo by: Wendy Darling
geez, this cover is unbelievable <3
illustrated by the balbusso twins (anna, elena)

read online on
lkgjldfgkhfkh This makes me wish Monstrous Beauty had been all about Syrenka all over again. That half of the book was flawless and ethereal. I love the way this author writes that time and the way she writes the mermaids.
Aug 31, 2012 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: shorts
This is a fantastic really short piece.
At the time of writing this, it's free to read online and takes all of 15 minutes, so I highly recommend doing so.
2.5 stars

Men Who Wish to Drown was a rather well-written story, it is quite readable. I did, however, feel as though the story itself could have been stronger and the ending more firm. What exactly was the author getting at with the witch not having the "power of prophecy"? I cannot help but feel I could take this turn of events a multitude of ways and I wish there was firm answer. (view spoiler)
Charis Faith
Just like Monstrous Beauty, this short story was hauntingly beautiful. It features yet another one of Syrenka's loves before Doyle, and is just as equally heartbreaking. Elizabeth Fama has a way of writing that draws you in and makes you see vividly in your mind the story she wants you to see. And feel it, you do as well. It is filled with the pain of one's regret, and it embeds itself in your heart like a shard of broken glass.

“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend
the golden witch.
Ugh this makes me sad that "Monstrous Beauty" was a one-off. Glad this novella got put up, though. <3
MaryannC.Book Fiend
My second Elizabeth Fama read, my only issue was that it was too short.
Brandon Witt
If you loved Monstrous Beauty, you must read Men Who Wish to Drown. It took all of twenty minutes to read, but it was such a fun addition to Monstrous Beauty. I would not recommend reading it before Monstrous Beauty, but it was such a great addition to the novel. I’ve wanted more from the Monstrous Beauty (because I loved it so much), and this novella/short story accomplished that. It gave a whole new twist to the world Fama created, one that made it richer. Having some of the background knowled ...more
Lauren  (YABookers)
A beautiful prequel to Monstrous Beauty and now I really want to read it.
Jun 26, 2014 Drucilla rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: f
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. This is actually a good example of a promotional short story. It enhances the story without adding anything extraneous.
Merfolk do not typically interest me, but I will admit that Fama's writing is deft enough to engage even a skeptic.
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Elizabeth Fama is the author of Plus One (FSG, 2014), Monstrous Beauty (FSG, 2012), a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and Odyssey Award honor winner, and Overboard (Cricket Books, 2002), an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

(You're absolutely welcome to follow me on Goodreads, but I won't seem very interesting as a reader here. W
More about Elizabeth Fama...
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“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.” 5 likes
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