Men Who Wish to Drown
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Men Who Wish to Drown

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  52 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...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Tor Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Free Four by Veronica RothDestroy Me by Tahereh MafiHana by Lauren OliverGlitches by Marissa MeyerSummer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa
YA Short Stories and Novellas
125th out of 445 books — 890 voters
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel SilversteinWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward AlbeePeople Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd ParryWhere The Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The 5 W's
20th out of 114 books — 11 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 988)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
"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...more
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...more
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...more
Morgan Faufaw
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...more
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 (stuck at the Edge of Nothingness)
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.
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.

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)...more
the golden witch.
Ugh this makes me sad that "Monstrous Beauty" was a one-off. Glad this novella got put up, though. <3
I loved this story, despite how tragic and sad it was in the end. (view spoiler) Mermaids have always peaked my curiosity ever since seeing The Little Mermaid as a child and although it wasn't quite all beauty, singing and dancing (actually quite a bit more cruel, heartbreaking and tragic), I still loved his interactions with the mermaid. There still...more
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.
Dit was een novella die ik eigenlijk te kort vond om er goed een mening over te kunnen vormen, op zich vond ik het wel mooi geschreven, maar ik vind het verhaal lastig te beoordelen en ik kwam er ook niet echt in. Ik geef deze novella drie sterren, en ik ben eigenlijk wel benieuwd naar een gewoon boek van deze schrijfster.
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.
This was an amazing short story. The emotions of it really got me.
Morgan Colleen
“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned...Her heart belonged to another..." Oh just hearing Ezra's name brings an ache to my heart!!! This was a tender short story that prepared us for what is to come and unfolded another layer of Syrenka's story bringing us to the very cusp of the beginnings of Hester's tale in MONSTROUS BEAUTY...
May 22, 2014 janie added it
“Men Who Wish to Drown” is a story set in the same world as Fama’s Monstrous Beauty series, where men cross paths with mermaids. In this story, a man named Resolved Henry Stanton writes a letter to his great-grandson about his life and his regrets. His biggest regret is a decision he made after he met Syrenka, a mermaid who saved him from drowning.

Read more at Starmetal Oak Reviews.
Very interesting read and very well written. This novella is mysterious and enchanting for its short length. I'll definitely be looking into reading Monstrous Beauty.
wowzers! i really enjoyed this short story. stumbled across it by chance, posted a picture of the cover(SO GREAT) on FB and it caught my attention. it seems to only be available as an ebook or on which is too bad, i'd love to own a copy. it's the story of a man, a mermaid, and regret. and while it is a love story, it's not lame and soppy. a definite plus. i won't go into any more detail though, don't want to spoil it.
Quick free read from enough written that I'm looking forward to reading Monstrous Beauty.
Nenia Campbell

♥ || Twitter || ♥ || Facebook || ♥ || Booklikes ♥ || Pinterest || ♥

You can read this story online for free HERE.

MEN WHO WISH TO DROWN is a prologue to Fama's other book, MONSTROUS BEAUTY. It is about an elderly man writing a sort of last will and testament-esque confession to his grandson. In it, he chronicles (briefly) his life as a young man, a shipwreck, and his chance encounter with a mermaid.

Of course, the mermaid is beautiful and the man, named "Resolved", falls in love with her. But fall...more
This short story is written with wonderful beauty, passion, insight, and regret. Its simple sincerity and heartfelt hindsight make me want to be a sailor and drown myself in a sea of mystery, calling to a long-lost but never forgotten love. Easily read in minutes but a haunting lesson that will prick at my soul much longer. (I'm such a sucker for mermaid stories!)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Heads Will Roll (Necromancer, #0.1)
  • The Department of Alterations (Crewel World, #0.5)
  • The Audition (Seraphina, #0.5)
  • The Witch of Duva (The Grisha, #0.5)
  • Foundation (Razorland, #0.5)
  • Bridge of Snow (Winner's Trilogy, #0.5)
  • Prophet (Struck, #0.5)
  • The Spring Before I Met You (The Lynburn Legacy, #0.25)
  • Merrow
  • The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch, #0.5)
  • Undone (Unraveling, #1.5)
  • The Little Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1.5)
  • Among the Nameless Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #0.5)
  • The Raid: An Eden Short Story (The Eden Trilogy, #0.6)
  • Undine
  • Legacy Lost (The Syrena Legacy, #0.5)
  • Tides
  • Four Houses
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
More about Elizabeth Fama...
Monstrous Beauty Plus One Overboard Noma Girl The Fierce Reads Anthology: Volume 2

Share This Book

“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.” 4 likes
More quotes…