Newcomer Krishnaswami has adapted these great-flood tales with little regard for maintaining the distinctive qualities of each culture represented. There are, of course, variations in the details of the stories: In the Hindu legend, the god Vishnu takes the form of a fish that grows and grows until a holy man realizes who the fish is, and Vishnu warns the man of the coming flood; in the Hawaiian tale, the sea-folk come in search of their sister who has married a human and cause a tidal wave, but she begs them to return to the ocean. The stories are, however, so short and blandly told that they seem merely repetitive. Without nuance, these tales are as common as the Noah story, which is absent from this collection. SÃ„flund's fine illustrations provide the only cultural variation in the book. These tellings of deluge stories from many cultures are surprisingly -- dry.