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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  129 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A rediscovered classic of politics, murder, espionage, for the first time in paperback

On a windswept landscape somewhere north of Denver, Robert Hawks, a feisty and dangerously curious hydrologist, finds himself enmeshed in a fight over Native American treaty rights. What begins for Robert as a peaceful fishing interlude ends in murder and the disclosure of government secr
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 15th 2003 by Beacon Press (first published 1996)
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Aug 01, 2015 Eric rated it liked it
The set-up of this novel is very interesting, and I agree with Alexie's Introduction that Everett pushes us to ask difficult and important questions. The method of interspersing hydrology reports for the fictional reservation along with treaty language and the plot's several strands is all very interesting, but I felt like it finally didn't build to much--or that Everett built to too much, leaving the focus too distributed to be really impactful. The whole subplot with Karen struck me as largely ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, this is not a good book. Do yourself a favor and read Everett's "Erasure" instead--it's a brilliant novel, mature and fully-formed, unlike "Watershed" which feels like a promising first draft that never should have been published.

I don't want to drag this thing through the mud. Suffice it to say that everything in it feels like it COULD work, but none of it does. It's a structural mess, there's no tension, the characters are barely even sketched out. On the upside, there is some v
Jun 27, 2012 Ko rated it it was amazing
Might be my favorite Everett. Has a lot of his watermarks, fly fishing (specifically the tying of flies), mountain living, New Mexico (albeit briefly) aloof success (the grandfather specifically) Colonel Custer, & why not, all of those things are fine... Though Everett does not care for Old Custer. The relationship between the native Americans and Robert grows to be similar to that of the tracker from "Gods country" and the native Americans but it doesn't start that way. Distinctly Everett b ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
A quick and compelling read. It's a pretty simple mystery story, but the story weaves in complex and interesting relationships with police, authority, and imperialism. A particular instance of injustice and exploitation at the fictional Plata Reservation is tied to larger histories and to individual choices. I picked this up because it's about a hydrologist and ties in with social justice. The hydrology was not particularly compelling, but it was a good story and I will definitely read more of E ...more
Tara Gilligan
Jan 11, 2013 Tara Gilligan rated it it was ok
I read Watershed because of Stacy Alaimo's insightful (it seemed so!) discussion of this book in *Bodily Natures*. Alaimo read a different book than I did. The plot takes too long to develop, and when it does it's not terribly interesting. The environmental intrigue is brief. And the book would lead one to believe that there are two types of women: mysterious, alluring midgets and hysterical, out-of-control ex-girlfriends. Neither type is particularly well motivated by Everett.
May 07, 2014 Barbara rated it liked it
The landscape, hydrology and history of Indian and black American history was revealing, an education, but really do not understand the old girlfriend stuff that kept popping up, detracted much from the flow of the story quite needlessly...really morea 2.5 than a 3....
Jun 18, 2011 sdw rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm not sure which I enjoyed more - Percival Everett's novel or Sherman Alexie's introduction. Everett's novel follows a hydrologist through an environmental justice mystery in which civil rights struggles parallel infringements of treaty rights.
Sep 03, 2013 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story of belated self-discovery and redemption, also of the African-American and Native American experience in America. Neat tie-in with hydrology. But too choppy for me and main character hard to believe in.
Nov 17, 2007 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
My first Everett book, I really enjoyed this one. Slightly off-kilter, very honest telling of a water rights battle between a Native American tribe and a local goverment.
John Hyland
Jun 17, 2013 John Hyland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
What a great read. This would be a wonderful addition to syllabi for courses in American Ethnic Literature or Literature and the Environment.
Wes Young
Jan 17, 2009 Wes Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
racial tension abounds. plus, how many stories have you read about hydrologists?
Jun 23, 2008 PJ rated it did not like it
could be the worst bok I veer read and I am proud to say I never finishged it
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Percival L. Everett (born 1956) is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

There might not be a more fertile mind in American fiction today than Everett’s. In 22 years, he has written 19 books, including a farcical Western, a savage satire of the publishing industry, a children’s story spoofing counting books, retellings of the Greek myths
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