Samantha's Reviews > The Water Knife

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
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What do you get when you cross a disillusioned reporter who is secretly still an idealist, a ruthless thug of a water knife who secretly believes in fate, and a young woman who has never had a chance? It's not a joke, though it sounds like it might lead to one. Or maybe it is a joke . . .just a really dark, dystopian one that we're all the butt of.

The book is a little bit near-future science fiction, a little bit western, and, unfortunately, a little bit torture porn. That last bit made it a really difficult read. When we linger over the details in too much loving detail, I start to wonder about the goals of the story teller, and not in a positive way.

It's too bad about that, because if not for the excruciating and unnecessary detailing of every violent act, it could have been a much better book. There is an exhaustion of empathy that comes after a while, and with so very much rape and torture happening, it got harder to care as the book went on. Maybe that was the goal? If so, I think it detracted from the other goals like social commentary and giving the reader someone to root for.

It was a very gritty story with complex moral parameters, and I liked that. Bacigalupi writes really good dialogue and I was really engaged by the characters. But it's an awfully brutal world view. Be ready if you go in there.

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Reading Progress

December 20, 2019 – Shelved
December 20, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 31, 2020 – Started Reading
February 7, 2020 – Finished Reading

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