Read advance reader review of All the Water I've Seen Is Running by Elias Rodriques, page 2 of 3

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All the Water I've Seen Is Running

A Novel

by Elias Rodriques

All the Water I've Seen Is Running by Elias Rodriques X
All the Water I've Seen Is Running by Elias Rodriques
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There are currently 17 member reviews
for All the Water I've Seen Is Running
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  • Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
    Sorry, but ...
    First let me thank Book Browse for sending me a copy of this book. It was an interesting premise, a gay man remembering the girl he attached himself to in high school, returns to the town he escaped from to learn about her early death. I m sorry to say much to my chagrin, I only made it through the first 150 pages filled with reminiscences out of chronological order, Daniel's childhood, and his mother's life. I found it hard to keep track of and frankly difficult to read. I simply stopped out of my frustration. While trying to get used to his writing style, I often lost the thread of who was speaking and had to reread a passage or two. The use of local dialect and certain word choices did not make it any easier to understand these young people.
  • Amy E. (Delaware, OH)
    Is it really geography?
    ALL THE WATER I'VE SEEN IS RUNNING was a challenging read for me, however I received insight into another lifestyle.
    Daniel was compelled to go home to process the death of a high school friend, but he carried a lot of baggage with him. Although he had followed his dream and escaped Palm Coast he was still an immigrant Jamaican of East Indian descent whose home life had not been stable. Since leaving he had accepted that he was gay and he carried guilt for not keeping in touch with his friends. Add to this racism, guns and a hefty dose of alcohol and the author provides insight into another level of society.
    Not sure I would have chosen to read this book, but I feel every book has something to teach me and this book did not disappoint.
  • Susie J. (Fort Wayne, IN)
    All the Water - Still Running
    I asked to review this book after being drawn to it by its title, yet having now completed it, I am sorry to say it has left me wanting. The premise of the book is clear - its plot definitely worthy - and the author frequently demonstrates some skill with language. However, the pacing of the novel, the development of its characters, and, at times, the confusing movement back and forth, between past and present, left me wondering who exactly is the intended audience of this piece. While I wanted to know and understand Daniel, and to some degree I was able, that degree was simply not deep enough nor consistently maintained throughout my reading to compel me to want to care. I put the book down after reading a third of the way through, and I picked it up sporadically until I completed it. Sometimes language was a barrier, sometimes sentence variety - from short to long, from rich and poetic to bland and vague. But even more than that, at its outset, the reason for the whole novel, Daniel's understanding of his youth, and he and Aubrey's adolescent relationship in a small north Florida town, lacked structure or detail or drama enough to make me really want to connect to him from its very beginning.
  • Suzette P. (Chicago, IL)
    The past is never dead. It's not even past.
    The narrator of this so-so novel, Daniel, breaks up with his boyfriend and takes a trip back to his Florida hometown after learning of the untimely death of his high school girlfriend. Author Rodriques' novel is mostly very well written, although punctuated at times with weird staccato-like sentences that stutter quickly past multiple events to move the action forward quickly and other times with languid descriptions of events and friends. This is not a plot-driven novel, more a meditation on the narrator's upbringing, family, and high school friends. The major event is his confrontation of the man driving the car during the crash that led to his girlfriend's death and any tension there peters out quickly. The second to last chapter is a moving natural end to this pensive novel but an additional chapter is added on unnecessarily, with a completely different narrator, which is jarring. The lack of quotation marks for conversations makes it sometimes difficult to discern whether the narrator is speaking aloud or thinking instead. Altogether, this novel is a mixed bag. If you like mostly well-written slow-moving meditations on life in a racist Florida backwater town where the narrator seems not to have matured at all in the time that he left and returned, then this is book will hit your sweet spot.
  • Lynne Z. (San Francisco, CA)
    Confusing and uneven
    I actually enjoyed this book until Page 82. I suddenly became lost and didn't understand what was happening. From that point on I would find myself intrigued for a while and then slip back into confusion. It seemed like two different people were writing (or editing) the story. When the author changed narrators in the last chapter it seemed like an add-on. Many of Elias Rodriques' descriptive passages were quite beautiful, but they didn't feel like they came from Daniel, the first person narrator, when compared to the passages with dialogue. I think the author tried to include too many themes in one book and, as a result, came out with an uneven and unsatisfying novel.
  • Kathryn B. (Dripping Springs, TX)
    All the Water I've Seen Is Running
    ---Contains spoilers---

    Normally with a book of a mere 250 pages, I would finish it in two days. This one took me two weeks because I had to keep putting it down and go read something enjoyable instead. It felt like homework! The main character, Daniel, is as confused as I am about his motivations and actions. He was impossible to engage with, even though the narrative is first person in his voice. No points of entry into his mind existed. While he is college educated, his dialogue all reverts to the street language of his youth, which felt forced. He is trying to go home, to find himself, but he fails. Ostensibly he is visiting his hometown because an old girlfriend died in a car accident, but even Daniel can not pin down his feelings for her or why he felt compelled to visit. The big reveal is that he lied about having sex with her in high school, something he told his friends had happened. Wow. A 17-year old boy lied about his sexual experiences. Sigh. The bigger reveal—that he is gay—receives about as much fanfare as it deserves (very little). Two parts of the writing would do well to be edited and even removed: a scene of gay sex in a public bathroom close to the beginning that really serves no purpose and all the prose about the weather and the environment. I may be dense, but I only got annoyed at all the interruptions. The chapter set on Desmond's porch with dialogue between he and Daniel has paragraphs inserted among their talking: a storm is coming, a storm has arrived, a storm is over, the trees drip rain. Why?? I hope there is some deep metaphor I am not understanding. The best chapter in the book was the second to last, which finally explained the title. The ultimate chapter could easily be edited out; it changed the voice to someone we don't know well and added nothing to the book. I am further confused about the author's audience. The people who could relate to the story and Daniel the best are typically not reading books.
  • Joan B. (Ellicott City, MD)
    All the Water I've Seen…….
    I remember reading that to get a good impression of a new book is to love the beginning. Loved the beginning of All the Water! After the first chapter, I got lost. The chapters were developed around memory of topics. I was reading streams of consciousness similar to RAP Since I do not understand that thought process, I did not really care about the characters. I think some teenagers might get some pleasure from the memories and feelings. For me, there was no pleasure trying to empathize with the characters. I read for the beauty of word pictures. These words just were not cohesive. I just would not recommend this book to an adult friend.
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