• A Short Drink of Water

  • By: Mara Altman
  • Narrated by: Mara Altman
  • Length: 1 hr and 35 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (600 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The word pops up anywhere exaggerations are sold. Telling a tall tale. Placing a tall order. Tall, dark, and handsome. And, of course, let’s not forget the proverbial “tall drink of water”. This bothers Mara Altman, and not only because she’s five-foot-zero, but also because her experience as a journalist, humorist, and essayist has led her to challenge assumptions about human existence. Altman’s most recent book, Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back), was a 2019 finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and wittily dissected long-held assumptions about our bodies for the deeper truth. Her conclusion: There is greatness in our grossness.

In her Audible Original A Short Drink of Water, Altman challenges the assumption that taller is better. Her journey to empower those at the short end of the stick (and why is it always the short end?) delivers a hilarious and heartfelt look at the differences between tall and short and how people seek to narrow them both physically and psychologically. You’ll meet people of every size and opinion in this deeply reported and richly comical ride through a world where every inch counts.

©2021 Mara Altman (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator and Performer

Mara Altman is the author of two nonfiction books: Thanks for Coming: One Young Woman’s Quest for an Orgasm (HarperCollins, 2009) and Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back) (Putnam, 2017), which was a finalist for Thurber Prize for American Humor. Altman also wrote eight best-selling Kindle Singles and has written for publications such as The New York Times and New York Magazine. Before that, Altman was a staff writer for The Village Voice and daily newspapers in India and Thailand. She lives in San Diego with a few other short drinks of water.

What listeners say about A Short Drink of Water

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A thoughtful and hilarious piece for all shapes and sizes

I lucked out in getting to turn this one on during a long drive today! As with all of Mara’s work, this is another hilarious take on something that most of us don’t think twice about. While she’s focused on what I like to call being vertically challenged, it’s interesting to think about how society came to label certain traits and characteristics as desirable, and this will definitely make you think. I highly recommend checking this out!

12 people found this helpful

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You don't have to be vertically challenged...

... to enjoy this book, but it helps! This is the first book I've read by this author, but after reading A Short Drink of Water, there will be more! Mara Altman's humor is only exceeded by the keen insights she brings to a topic we can all appreciate whether we are lucky enough to be 6'5" tall, or just barely 5'2" (I'm somewhere in between). She is hilarious, and her humor never gets tiring, her story is interesting and relatable no matter your height. The author narrates this book which is always a plus, and her energy, her personality come through loud and clear.
I was so happy to see she has several other books on Audible, and I imagine they too will be worth the effort. Books like Altman's make my membership worth it, as I don't usually invest my time in books that are "included" in membership, but just tried it with very low expectations. Needless to say, A Short Drink of Water far exceeded expectations. Very well done! Thanks, Audible!

8 people found this helpful

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Funny and enlightening!

Original perspective on a topic receiving scant attention. What’s a short person to do in a world that prizes tallness like so many superficial traits? Altman answers with wit and insight, while also digging into the underlying reasons – right or wrong – society rewards tall stature. Her interviews prying into the cottage industry of medically altering height are fascinating, sometimes hilarious, too. As consolation for listeners who will never dunk a basketball, the author also identifies some pretty clever hidden benefits of being on the shorter side. Great listen!

8 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!!

A must read / listen to! Well written and funny! We can all learn so much about life and society from Mara’s words, wether you are 7 feet tall or 4’ 2” read this book!!

7 people found this helpful

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Great Insight.

Totally enjoyed the authors perspective. it truly made me think about what is important and what isn't.

6 people found this helpful

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Funny!

This quick listen was both funny and enlightening. Strong recommend that you listen in a place where you are comfortable laughing out loud.

6 people found this helpful

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I loved this piece!

I laughed nonstop for the first 45 minutes. She’s such a fantastic storyteller. I downloaded it because I’m a shorty, but listening to it, I can say it’s got universal themes and it’s hilarious.

5 people found this helpful

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my first audiobook

a really awesome experience
it was funny and the performance was great
I would recommend it for anyone

5 people found this helpful

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Short and Sweet!

As a 5’2.5” person, I found this incredibly interesting. Who knew that there was so much more to being short, than being short? This is well researched, and as a parent, it tugs at your moral and emotional heartstrings. This is an interesting listen, I highly recommend!

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Food for thought

This is a wonderful perspective on being “different “in this world. Acceptance and diversity are key. Really enjoyed this book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Eileen Scholes
  • 01-08-22

Enlightening

Thank you for this and all the research you've done. I'm short and happy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-21

Funny and thought provoking

Loved this, her humour is fantastic and the points she brings up are fascinating. highly recommend.