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The Way That Water Enters Stone: Stories

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  97 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A Louisiana farmer sees the images of Christ appear on the freezer door and questions the meaning of faith. In a Maine resort town, Miss Langevin, a spinster who could write a book on disappointment, now gets a chance to help another woman escape it. And in the title story, a science teacher's modest dreams and painful memories erode his existence like water entering stone ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Plume (first published 1991)
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Sarah Pascarella
Jun 10, 2012 Sarah Pascarella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant short fiction from Dufresne that gives voice to the anonymous blue collar residents of Worcester, Monroe, Belle Glade, and other small towns throughout the North- and Southeast. Economical, spare, and unsentimental, Dufresne's short stories pay close attention to the everyday, the everyman, and the gradual eroding of hopes, dreams, aspirations in exchange for just getting by. There's no such thing as thriving in these stories -- it's all simply survival. He's also a master of setting/p ...more
Kelsey Prosser
Mar 31, 2015 Kelsey Prosser rated it liked it
I feel rather torn between a two or three star rating. I settled with three because I did find more enjoyable about these stories than unpleasant. The book gathered and composed itself the further along I read.

There were a number stories in the beginning I felt ended more abruptly than mysteriously. I enjoy an unfinished cliff hanger of a story that leaves the reader to assume an ending of their own creation, but there were a few in this collection that felt more as if Dufresne simply submitted
Aug 21, 2012 Priscilla rated it it was amazing
I'm not always a big fan of short story collections, but I really liked this one. Dufresne manages to fully develop characters in just a few pages, and left me feeling I knew his subjects personally. Some of the stories are a bit depressing, but I enjoyed them.
Paul Secor
John Dufresne is one of the cats - a great writer, even if the literary establishment doesn't seem to recognize him as such. That's their loss.
Dec 28, 2007 Chip rated it really liked it
An often overlooked writer. These are great short stories. Compelling. Nobody ever talks about Dufresne, so I will: He needs reading.
Jun 30, 2007 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Man, these are some perfect stories that make the form proud.
May 15, 2010 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Best Short stories ever.
Oct 25, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second John Dufresne book confirms what the first (Johnny Too Bad: Stories) suggested: he is a fantastic writer, and surely deserving of some sort of America's Most Overlooked Author award. The stories in this, his first collection, are perhaps more conventional than those in Johnny Too Bad, but are every bit as good. I'm now very much looking forward to trying some of his novels.
Deborah Schuff
Jun 07, 2014 Deborah Schuff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Charming stories about flawed, unhappy people doing what they can for themselves and others. The author is very kind and non-judgmental toward his characters. I will definitely be reading his novels.
Jun 19, 2014 Kyra rated it it was amazing
Damn, this is great reading !
Dec 03, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it
As others have commented, Dufresne writes some great stories, some sad tales with great doses of humor. I wonder why I've never heard of him before - he's like a wonderful mix of Barry Hannah and Alice Munro. I didn't actually love the final story (otherwise I probably would've given this book 5 stars) except for the great line at the end about the picture of Fontana's fetus: "What you see in the picture is this cranium and spinal cord. Looks like a number 9 or a banjo." That's classic.
Linda Ragusano
Jun 19, 2007 Linda Ragusano rated it really liked it
A beautiful collection of short stories
Nov 29, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I like short stories, and I think this guy does them really well. Varied enough, but holds on to his voice.
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John Dufresne teaches in the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program at Florida International University. He is a French-Canadian born in America.
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