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Out of Water

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  14 reviews

These are the stories of things out of water—of sea bed deserts choked with ghosts; of the lonely, roving children of the fen. Here your garden grows belowground. You will be born into a cradle of your own bones, shadows will burst from your eyes, and your mouth will fill with thorns. Storms will twist inside you, and the ghosts of your pa
Paperback, 1, 242 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by Trepidatio Publishing (first published October 25th 2019)
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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black-static
Originally published in Black Static Magazine Black Static #72 (Nov-Dec 2019)

A collection of short stories, OUT OF WATER by Sarah Read is a grim buffet set with a variety of offerings for horror readers to feast upon; something to satisfy every appetite.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reading Sarah’s first novel, THE BONE WEAVER’S ORCHARD. The connection I felt with Read’s storytelling voice was immediate and intense. Her style is painstakingly detailed, richly atmospheric and compelli
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home-library
Sarah writes wonderfully Gothic tales and I have been lucky to read so many of them over the past couple of years. She writes tales that make one uncomfortable to read but like a bad accident, you find yourself unable to stop. You need to see it through. Sara doesn't need to write a happy ending for you to be satisfied; chills and an uneasy sense of dread are just as good. Influenced by the original faerie tales that were meant to scare the shit out of you and teach you a lesson, HP Lovecraft, A ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
OUT OF WATER is a collection of stories from Sarah Read. As I previously read her novel THE BONE WEAVER'S ORCHARD, I couldn't wait to try out some of her other tales.

These ranged all over in theme, from poignant, loss, revenge, and more obscure issues. The writing was lyrical--poetic in cases--and each story had a beauty all of its own.

In regards to the individual tales--which ranged in length as well as topic--my personal ratings were between 3 and 5 stars, in general; therefore the 4 star rat
Yolanda Sfetsos
Originally posted at Kendall Reviews.

I always enjoy reading anthologies and author short story collections, and this one really caught my eye. Not just because of the lovely cover, but also because I was interested in checking out this author’s writing.

Here’s what I thought of each story:

ENDOSKELETAL: Everyone loves a good and creepy story about finding weird archaeological relics inside a cave. Even though we all know it’s a bad idea, human curiosity always wins and the character/s do something
Bill Hsu
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I thought this was pretty uneven, despite all the enthusiastic ratings. Read works mostly with classic horror tropes (frost, revenants etc). Her language can be a bit overwrought for my taste, though I do appreciate that, for the most part, she doesn't spell out what's going on behind the scenes.

My favorite is "Thorn Tongue", a dark, distorted, and ambiguous fairy tale that invites multiple interpretations. Read handles body horror here better than in the other stories:
Heather drew the long th
Sara Tantlinger
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Read's short story collection is simply captivating. Each story transported me into its unique world, yet they all held threads of grief, of hope, of otherworldliness that helped everything feel just connected enough to make this collection perfectly comprised. It's hard to pick favorites, but I think "Through Gravel", "The Eyes of Salton Sea", "Renovation", and "Scavengers" might be my top 4. However, each story offers something powerful that I know will stay with me -- like the utter gri ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are many lessons to be gleaned from this collection. Never trust the fae. Never trust your body. The lovely “Endoskeletal” is chock full of disturbed funerary sites and poetic body horror. It is inhabited by well-drawn characters and tense pacing. “Still Life with Natalie” makes a valiant call to revitalize our traditions of visiting old cemeteries, but maybe we shouldn’t try to recreate them.

So many of these deal with motherhood and the water, and this intersection is particularly effecti
Zen Ghost Bookworm
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read has a way of drawing you in with beautiful imagery and well crafted sentences, and before you know it, you are smacked with a deeply disturbing conclusion. LOVE that about her.

This was my second book of Read's, as I prepare for the Fox Cities Book Festival, and I enjoyed this as much as her longer work. Each story is a little snippet of darkness, ranging from terribly realistic to deeply mythical and magical. It is a great mix of content, all threaded together with the same hypnotic style.

Tell Tale
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*** Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ***

The tremendously talented Gemma Files sets up Sarah Read’s new short story collection, Out of Water. It is highly and justifiably praiseworthy in its analysis of why Sarah’s collection is so important and should be very widely read.

With this collection, Sarah Read weaves a web so intricate and so divine that one would not blame Athena for turning her attention away from exacting revenge on Arachne to take notice of t
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tales with creeping insidiousness and monstrosities of many kinds await.
From the collection these tales worked for me:


Subterranean, a deep chasm awaits, crafted evocatively with creeping insidiousness.

“There wasn’t much known about Paleolithic funerary rites. Because sites like this were never found.”

“A dozen skeletal remains filled shallow alcoves that lined the walls beneath the drawings. Beyond the alcoves, two narrow openings split the back of the cave. One led to nothing but a c
Jon Vaughan
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and poetic collection of weird horror stories with a decidedly feminine edge. Aquatic and avian. A gothic ossuary of tales about bodies, and reproduction and the quiet horror of existence. Got off to a little bit of a slow start for me, but once I got a handle on what the stories were doing I was absolutely along for the ride. Look forward to more books from the writer.
Jackie Cowgill (LanternsJourney)
I read in an interview by Sadie Hartmann that Sarah Read's original title for this book was Underwater Things Out of Water, after the title of the short story Underwater Things. Not all the stories are related to water (though a good majority are), but the central theme is things that are unsettling, or out of place, especially in regards to seeking out wants and dreams. Some of the stories were fairytale-esque and the writing throughout was lush. If authors write what they know, then Sarah, my ...more
Marco Wolf
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! What a fantastic debut! Do yourself a favor and grab a copy.
Gwendolyn Kiste
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Nov 10, 2019
Peter Riley
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