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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Walker on Water

Kristiina Ehin

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To purchase Walker on Water

Title: Walker on Water
Author: Kristiina Ehin
Genre: Stories
Written: (Eng. 2014)
Length: 80 pages
Original in: Estonian
Availability: Walker on Water - US
Walker on Water - UK
Walker on Water - Canada
Walker on Water - India
  • Translated by Ilmar Lehtpere

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Our Assessment:

B : tight, sharp, surprising little stories

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       Author Kristiina Ehin is also a poet, and the compact, image-rich stories of Walker on Water have a similarly tightly composed feel, turning quickly and often surprisingly, as poems often do from line to line. There's a neat and clean precision to the language in Ilmar Lehtpere's translation, too -- and the overall feel is of appealing nuggets or neat morsels, rather than larger fleshed-out fictions.
       Ehin's invention can be dazzling -- beginning with the water-walking narrator of the title story. The mix of surreal and prosaic is especially effective, as in this section from 'Walker on Water':


Lately I've discovered that my husband's head opens at the back. I hadn't noticed that before. There's a hatch there. When Jaan comes home after a tiring day at work, he opens the hatch and takes his brains out. They steam on the table, but Jaan stretches his legs out on the sofa and looks at me with his happy, drwosy eyes.


I wanted an intelligent and educated man, but what I got was a brainless oaf.
       These are stories of multiple husbands -- some who lose their arms, the memory of others maintained in a collection of dried apricots --, three-headed daughters, and attention-seeking refrigerators -- all treated as if they were the most natural things in the world. There are some recurring characters, and types, and names -- the Surrealist's daughter, men named Jaan -- while the final story, for example, describes an exchange between Happiness Formula and Life Story.
       Short, with an agreeably bizarre edge to many of them, but also a crisp, clear presentation, the stories collected in Walker on Water are enjoyable treats, Ehin is a talented writer, and they're finely crafted little pieces -- a collection that's fun to dip into.

- M.A.Orthofer, 16 December 2014

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Walker on Water: Reviews: Kristiina Ehin: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Estonian author Kristiina Ehin was born in 1977.

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© 2014-2021 the complete review

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