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Men Who Wish to Drown

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  458 Ratings  ·  111 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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Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.”

you know me - you know i have read all kinds of stories about what happens when a man or a woman succumbs to the love of a creature not quite human. this is the story of what happens when they don't; the missed connections version of monsterporn.

and it's gorgeous.

it takes the form of a deathbed letter by mr. resolved harry stanton to his great-grandson thomas, in which he recounts an experienc
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ by: Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
So everyone who's friends with me knows I am obsessed with mermaids, right? I mean, it's in my profile under "interests." I love mermaids. I find them fascinating and think their history and mythology from all cultures is very unique. There is just one thing I have never been able to stomach about the whole original "Little Mermaid" tale by Hans Christian Anderson. She accepts her fate and dies when the prince she loves marries another. Bitch. You're a mermaid. There ARE (ahem) other fish in the ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Choose wisely when your time comes. Live—or die—without regret.

Mermaids are amazing, and it's hard to get enough of their legends. At least I haven't had my personal fill of them yet, they seem hard for me to find other than mere glimpses in stories. This is a short story - again, only a mere glimpse of a mermaid tale. The writing is haunting and lovely, the main character a weak man who lives to regret not taking a chance. The writer's pause between reflective thought and her subtlely in dialo
Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
I saw a woman—only a little more than a flash of pale skin and white hair, and she was gone. It was a brainsick reverie, I knew. I longed to allow myself to tumble in, but I hesitated, as I always did, lacking purpose even to die.

Resolved Henry Stanton has led a long and prolific life, now – at its end – he writes to his great-grandson of love and regret. He writes of the fantastical world of mermaids; and the impossibility of loving and being loved by one.

This short story is really just a le
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I have led a life that most men envy. I achieved health and wealth almost without effort. But as a young man the future was unknown and there were two paths before me. 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 skipped past the introduction and didn't realize this was the same author of "monstrous beauty" (which I didn't care for, not the fault of th
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eat-my-shorts
“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.”

Beautifully written and poignant
Tuba Sayed
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.”

So freaking good!
Amy (Other Amy)
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People with hopes and regrets
Recommended to Amy (Other Amy) by: karen
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.

Karen's review has me in a review-by-poetry frame of mind. I had a high school English teacher who argued that "The Road Not Taken" was the most misinterpreted poem in all of American literature:

I sha
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
I don't normally enjoy short stories, specially if they're not part of any series because I need time to feel my characters and short stories can't provide me with that. That being said, Men Who Wish to Drown was a beautiful yet sad story of a man, writing his grandson a letter about something that happened to him during his youth and how he met someone very dear.
Like I explained, I didn't grow to like the characters, 32 pages is very short, but I believe the message it conveys is pretty import
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
“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
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ¡¡Todos!!
Recommended to Katy 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
Vicky (the Blowtorch-Wielding OotCDCB™)
"With this missive I hope to bequeath to you something more valuable than your portion of my estate: the wisdom to seize joy when it unexpectedly presents itself, and to hold it tight in the face of your own rationality."

I was surprised by the emotional punch this story carried in a short 17 pages. It also achieved something which (for me) is quite rare, that was to interest me in the story despite the fact that I wasn't impressed by the MC. I usually need to “like” a MC to connect with him/he
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mairéad (is roaming the Undying Lands)
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.
Paige  Bookdragon
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Paige by: ♛Tash
Live—or die—without regret.

Here book, take my heart.

(Thank you Tash for the tip. :) You can read this little gem here.)

Janus the Erudite Artist
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
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
Take Me Away To A Great Read
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
 ᴍɪᴄs ✖amante de los spoilers✖

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.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A really delightful short story, delivered as a letter to a great grandson, of regret and lovelorn, traveling a watery passage well worn by other authors,but not much better told than here. I owe its discovery to my friend Karen, who reads much in the Tor universe, which I may take up as well, though perhaps not some of the stranger tales she chooses. But this one was very nice.
Mermaids and regrets make for absorbing reading. This TOR short story has that New England-ish gothic scent to it, so I was hooked fairly quickly. Do we really know all that lurks beneath the seas? I think not. Live your life without regrets.

Book Season = Summer (calm water)
Seeing Double in Neverland
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!
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
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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!
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, mermaids, dreamy
Enchanting ♡
How beautiful is that cover? The writing is just as beautiful and magical!

Wow, this was great!
This short story was as well-written, vivid and compelling as the mermaid it portrays.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Now I really want to read Monstrous Beauty!<\i>
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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.

(You're absolutely welcome to follow me on Goodreads, but I won't seem very interesting as a reader here. While I'm an active lurker on GR, I keep all of my person
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“When you give your heart to the ocean, you either drown, or spend your life wishing you had drowned.” 14 likes
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