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Salt Water

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  311 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
In the summer of 1963 I fell in love and my father drowned....So begins this luminous story of a young man's passage through the dark turns of adult passion. A contemporary retelling of Turgenev's classic tale "First Love," Salt Water is set against a summer landscape of water, sand, and sky, and relates in seductive detail the momentous events that changed a family foreve ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Gallery Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 28, 2013 Lacygnette rated it it was ok
This was a quick read. Not a modern style - it's a retelling of Turgenev's First Love, which I haven't read, but will. Somehow I never got into the main character, a young boy falling in love for the first time. The story is told in a very distant manner. As a reader, I got the sense of the people around the boy on the island, but I never cared much about any of them. I don't know if that's a problem for me as a reader or for the writer. All the events seemed to take place in a far away land, wh ...more
Jul 27, 2016 Aglaja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Das Buch hat mich auch nach 8 Jahren fasziniert.
Ich bin sonst kein Fan von coming-of-age Geschichten, aber Simmons schafft es hier mich einfach mitzunehmen in die Gefühls- und Gedankenwelt seines Protagonisten.
Eine besondere Liebesgeschichte, der ich mehr Leser wünsche :-)
Oct 24, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Continuare a vivere cos
ha l'aria di un naufragio
si, questa vita m' ha fregato
m' ha insegnato ad aspettare
un mondo mai creato...
Il mare gi qui
che trabocca
ed ora che son sola
l'acqua mi tocca.

Acqua nascer
acqua crescer
acqua vieni gi dai monti.
Acqua laver
e disseter
acqua cheta rompi i ponti.

Acqua piover
acqua asciugher
acqua bagna questa terra
acqua splender
limpida sar
acqua porta via la guerra.

acqua forte, acqua scura
acqua che scender
non fa paura.
Acqua trasparente
acqua e niente
acqua ritorner
Annelie Bernar
Nov 29, 2014 Annelie Bernar rated it really liked it
COMMENTO : L'incipit introduce la storia, riassumendola in poche parole.Questo romanzo di formazione, breve ma intenso, va letto con calma, assaporando ogni pagina, per imprimere bene i dettagli e viverne in pieno la poesia che lo pervade.I personaggi sono ben definiti e il rapporto padre-figlio viene descritto molto bene nel fluire degli eventi che lo travolgeranno, con conseguenze inimmaginabili e ineluttabili.Protagonista assoluto è il mare, che in una frase tra le più intense del romanzo, s ...more
Teresa A. Mauk
Jun 21, 2015 Teresa A. Mauk rated it really liked it
This was one of those deceivingly simple reads - only 175 pages with a seemingly simple writing style and plot. However, the sparse prose style belies some deep themes and I found myself going back and re-reading sections to draw out clues and ideas I missed the first time around. It reminds me of Summer of 42 (which I'm going to re-read) as it would be written by Ernest Hemingway. It would make a great movie, with Susan Sarandon as Mrs. Mertz. Donald Rogus, I think you'd appreciate this book. I ...more
Feb 11, 2011 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Sullo sfondo di una famiglia quasi Yatesiana, Simmons svolge una vicenda in cui tutti gli avvenimenti principali vengono svelati nelle prime due righe: "Nell'estate del 1963 io mi innamorai e mio padre morì annegato." Manca il come, ovviamente, ed è qui che l'autore costruisce la sua impalcatura in modo asciutto e rigoroso, severissimo. Tant'è che della sua scrittura si una dire che not a word is wasted (nessuna parola è sprecata). Preoccupato delle parole che dicono più di quello che è lecito, ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
A straight forward coming-of-age story, this takes place one summer at a beach. A teenage boy tries to cope with the complexities of the adults in his life while falling in love for the first time. There was a kind of distance and lack of connection in the narrative, which meant I could not give it more than three stars.
Apr 29, 2016 Gerry rated it really liked it
Coming-of-age novel featuring a fifteen-year-old boy during the summer he falls in love with a 20-year-old woman, who in turn falls for his father, creating multiple layers of friction and angst.
Kept me reading faster and faster.

The description of the point made me feel like I was right there. I could smell and hear the waves.
Sarah Cizmas
Sep 22, 2015 Sarah Cizmas rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great short coming of age/ tragedy short story. I felt like a fly on the wall in this family's summer cabin
Laurent Szklarz
An amazing line opener a great ending line and in between? not much
Lauren Gullion
May 18, 2013 Lauren Gullion rated it really liked it
I came across this slender novel in a used bookstore and had a vague recollection that it'd been recommended to me, by someone, at some time. Maybe? I wasn't sure. Still, I thought it'd be worth taking a chance on a story that starts with this first line: "In the summer of 1963 I fell in love and my father died." The voice in this novel is lovely, with prose that's direct and almost matter-of-fact, yet somehow also poetic. The story itself is compelling and the characters charmingly flawed. A re ...more
Paul Demetre
Aug 31, 2013 Paul Demetre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salt Water begins with a quotation from Ivan Turgenov's 'First Love' and proceeds to tell the story of narrator's first love.

A tale ensures in the Russian style which focuses on the themes of love, family, jealousy, passion, youth, betrayal and death, along with elements of art, friendship and comedy. All is told with many metaphors in a small, compact novella.

A wondeful read for those who recall with fondness their own joyous and disappointing discoveries when they first fell in love.
Paolo Gianoglio
Nonostante la mia simpatia per la scrittura scarna ed essenziale, nonostante tutto ciò che epoca e luoghi possano evocare (una marina statunitense, l'oceano, gli anni 60), questo libro mi è sembrato troppo esile. La trama è sottile, i personaggi bidimensionali, dialoghi e relazioni familiari abbastanza poco credibili data l'epoca e l'età del protagonista. Sembra un esercizio di stile, anche se pensando alla biografia dell'autore l'ipotesi appare poco credibile.
Jun 15, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salt Water was really good. It really wrapped me up in the characters without even realizing it until the end, which to me was rather heart breaking. You know what is coming, the protagonist tells you right up front, but it ends up being so shocking and sad. This book stayed with me all day after I finished it, really left me in a bit of a depressed mood, but very well worth the read.
Jan 05, 2014 Kelli rated it liked it
My third book of 2014. This was a very quick read, The writing style is easy and flows, the characters are somewhat believable but the choices some of them make are damaging. overall not a favorite of mine.
Jul 01, 2012 Irene rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This book was better than I had expected. Very atmospheric, interesting characters. And quite a few good insights into being young and hopeful, about love and sex, relationships and marriage, and growing old. I recommend it! One star off for being a bit short and thus not developing the climax of the story in more detail - or the aftermath.
Jul 02, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
I was immediately struck by the tone of this book. It grabbed me and pulled me right in and I knew I was in for something melancholic but by the end I was not sad, rather I was blown away. A simple story told brilliantly. It left me with much to chew over. Probably the best book I've read so far this year.
Apr 10, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok
Another really short read. A Nook Recommendation for cheap. I just don't think it was too realistic. Did people really act this way in the '60's or on a different coast than me? I don't know, but I doubt it. Maybe this author lived a really strange life. The characters were just weird to me.
Jun 10, 2013 Jill rated it it was ok
Very artsy book that reminded me of how Holden Caufield talks and how jay feels about Daisy, but you don't quite believe the characters in Salt Water. Maybe the disconnect is because the book is only 100 and some pages. Not a waste of time, but I am not still thinking about the book by any means.
Apr 06, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it
Ditto Irene Thiede's review, except I'm taking two stars off for it's brevity. At 1 103 pages, I'd call it more of a novella. Gotta give Simmons credit, he made the most of all 103 pages. :-)
Sep 18, 2008 Norieh rated it liked it
This was a good summer read for me. It read mostly like a soap opera but with more reality. This book has drama and shock factor which I appreciate in quick reads.
Apr 28, 2015 Gigi rated it really liked it
i have to say i enjoyed this. i was able to read it in one day which may have helped with keeping me connected to the characters and their relationships.
Nov 18, 2010 Gloriagloom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americani
il piu bel libro dell'anno? niente aquiloni, niente metafore, nessun grande affresco, solo una scrittura perfetta. Bello e crudele
Jul 24, 2013 Jenna rated it liked it
It's a love story. A story about how a 16 year old boy learns about love. A lovely, sad and short read.
Jul 25, 2013 Katrin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A short read and in my opinion a rather dull on as well. Couldn't get into the characters at all.
Jun 27, 2013 Beverly rated it liked it
Very quick read, but interesting first person narrative. The ending was very unsatisfying.
May 21, 2013 Ffiamma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
omaggio a turgenev- primo amore ambientato negli stati uniti.
Jun 09, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
Great book! The ending left a bit to be desired but overall, I loved it.
Joan Leicht
Apr 21, 2013 Joan Leicht rated it did not like it
Superficial people stilted dialogue unbelievable story. Skip this one.
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