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Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Review-A-Day

"The phrase 'well-crafted' suggests an unfortunate analogy between a piece of fiction and a piece of furniture. And there is a surprising amount of fiction around that is reasonably accomplished and graceful, or strikingly ornamented, or that skillfully reproduces previous successes in structure or tone and yet feels synthetic and inert — made up, in short, rather than like something that has been transcribed from a revelatory vision." Deborah Eisenberg, New York Review of Books (read the entire New York review of Books)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Viking marauders descend on a much-plundered island, hoping some mayhem will shake off the winter blahs. A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the print of a bare foot on the inside of his windshield doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl.

In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily try to reassemble themselves. His version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons. Combining electric prose with savage wit, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a major debut, announcing a voice we have not heard before.

Review:

Wells Tower is a blindingly brilliant writer who does more than raise the bar for debut fiction: he hurls it into space. With the oversized heart of George Saunders, the demon tongue of Barry Hannah, and his very own conjuring tools that cannot here be named, Tower writes stories of aching beauty that are as crushingly funny and sad as any on the planet. Ben Marcus, author of Notable American Women and The Age of Wire and String

Review:

"We need books like Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned...What [Towers] portraits lack in grandeur, they compensate for in their accuracy...[The characters] live the way we Americans do." Benjamin Alsup, Esquire

Review:

"[An] outstanding debut collection...The strange and magnificent title story, in which Vikings set off again toward an oft-raided island, beautifully ties the collection together in its heartbreaking final paragraph. Towers uncommon mastery of tone and wide-ranging sympathy creates a fine tension between wry humor and the primal rage that seethes just below the surface of each of his characters." Publishers Weekly (starred review and Pick of the Week)

Review:

"The title barely hints at the scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners power of the stories." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"Towers debut story collection confirms what readers of Harpers, McSweeneys, The Paris Review, and other major publications have known for some time: Tower is a serious talent...Towers voice is honest and strange, humorous and insightful." Kevin Clouther, Booklist

Review:

"Outstanding...Tower has crafted a powerful and assured debut collection." Lawrence Rungren, Library Journal

Review:

"Wells Towers' stories are written, thrillingly, in authentic American vernacularviolent, funny, bleak, and beautiful. You need to read them, now." Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemens Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Review:

"These are lurid, ingenious, beautiful, delicate, and very funny stories. Full of pity and terror, they are also great fun to read. Wells Tower has written a brilliant book." Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision

Synopsis:

“This arresting debut collection of stories decisively establishes Mr. Tower as a writer of uncommon talent.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Synopsis:

A dark and bitingly humorous collection of short stories from the "brilliantly evocative" Paul Theroux (Time)

Synopsis:

From the author who penned The Wake of Forgiveness, ten remarkable stories that tackle what it means to be a man.

Synopsis:

For fans of George Saunders and Raymond Carver, this powerful, imaginative story collection takes readers on a journey from the afterlife to contemporary times to the early days of Mormonism—a stunning debut  by an acclaimed McSweeneys and Tin House contributor.  

Synopsis:

Winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

Named "Outstanding 2014 Collection" by The Story Prize

Pushcart Prize WinnerIn this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death,” an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders,” in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.

 

The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in “Diviner,” a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next.Godforsaken Idaho named 'Outstanding 2013 Short Story Collections' by The Story Prize

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Wake of Forgiveness—“a mesmerizing, mythic saga,” as described by the New York Times—come ten remarkable stories that uncover unexpected beauty in the struggles of the modern American male.

Like Richard Russo, Bruce Machart has a profound knowledge of the male psyche and a gift for conveying the absurdity and brutality of daily life with humor and compassion. Whether they find themselves walking the fertile farmland of south Texas, steering trucks through the suffocating sprawl of Houston, or turning logs into paper in the mills just west of the Sabine River, the men of these stories seek to prove themselves in a world that doesnt always welcome them. Here are men whose furrows are never quite straight and whose hearts are near to bursting with all the desires they have been told they arent supposed to heed.

Bruce Machart is one of our most ambitious and fearless young writers. With Men in the Making, he has composed a remarkable paean to the complex fragility of the American male. I read these stories in a state of tender amazement.”—Steve Almond, author of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

About the Author

Wells Tower's writing has appeared in Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, The Paris Review, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and elsewhere. He received a Pushcart Prize and the Plimpton Discovery Prize from The Paris Review. He lives in North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Minor Watt   1

Mr. Bones   35

Our Raccoon Year   59

Mrs. Everest   76

Another Necklace   97

Incident in the Oriente   110

Rip It Up   118

Siamese Nights   143

Nowadays the Dead Dont Die   193

Autostop Summer   197

Voices of Love   215

The Furies   232

Rangers   249

Action   257

Long Story Short   269

Neighbor Islands   293

The Travelers Wife   305

The First World   313

Heartache   335

Im the Meat, Youre the Knife   342

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Lorraine, May 7, 2009 (view all comments by Lorraine)
These nine, superbly written stories pack a wallop, a mix of human struggle with sprinklings of humor that capture the human experience. The voices are varied, attesting to Tower's talent. In this amazing collection, the reader encounters Bob as he struggles with his ruined life in the story "The Brown Coast", which could have been entitled "Man as Sea Cucumber". Next is sibling rivalry gone to extremes in "Retreat". Then there's the elderly Albert watching his interesting neighbor's house in "Door in Your Eye", and the gawky teenager Jacey whiling away a summer day, in "Wild America". The title story is a unique Viking tale. Sometimes I find contemporary short stories less than satisfying, but this collection restores my faith in the genre.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Yonathan, March 5, 2009 (view all comments by Yonathan)
I learned of Wells Tower through his short story "Leopard," which left such an immediate impact on me that I procured an advance copy of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. Each tale in this collection reaffirmed his mastery of the short story. His characters have refreshingly realistic depth and each story feels whole and original. Despite the fact that the eponymous story centers on a band of Vikings, the book is distinctly American. Tower trains his keen eye on the modern American condition, in all its unprepossessing glory. His uncommon talent lies in his ability to depict beauty and melancholy, two inextricable elements, so piercingly. His prose is magnificent as well; the first couple of paragraphs of the title story - an irradiant exercise in both physical and emotional brutality - are a marvel.

If you are a living human you should read this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374292195
Subtitle:
Twenty Stories
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author:
Tower, Wells
Author:
Machart, Bruce
Author:
Theroux, Paul
Author:
Vestal, Shawn
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Short Stories (sin
Subject:
gle author)
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140930
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2010
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374292195 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The phrase 'well-crafted' suggests an unfortunate analogy between a piece of fiction and a piece of furniture. And there is a surprising amount of fiction around that is reasonably accomplished and graceful, or strikingly ornamented, or that skillfully reproduces previous successes in structure or tone and yet feels synthetic and inert — made up, in short, rather than like something that has been transcribed from a revelatory vision." (read the entire New York review of Books)
"Review" by , Wells Tower is a blindingly brilliant writer who does more than raise the bar for debut fiction: he hurls it into space. With the oversized heart of George Saunders, the demon tongue of Barry Hannah, and his very own conjuring tools that cannot here be named, Tower writes stories of aching beauty that are as crushingly funny and sad as any on the planet.
"Review" by , "We need books like Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned...What [Towers] portraits lack in grandeur, they compensate for in their accuracy...[The characters] live the way we Americans do."
"Review" by , "[An] outstanding debut collection...The strange and magnificent title story, in which Vikings set off again toward an oft-raided island, beautifully ties the collection together in its heartbreaking final paragraph. Towers uncommon mastery of tone and wide-ranging sympathy creates a fine tension between wry humor and the primal rage that seethes just below the surface of each of his characters." (starred review and Pick of the Week)
"Review" by , "The title barely hints at the scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners power of the stories." (starred review)
"Review" by , "Towers debut story collection confirms what readers of Harpers, McSweeneys, The Paris Review, and other major publications have known for some time: Tower is a serious talent...Towers voice is honest and strange, humorous and insightful."
"Review" by , "Outstanding...Tower has crafted a powerful and assured debut collection."
"Review" by , "Wells Towers' stories are written, thrillingly, in authentic American vernacularviolent, funny, bleak, and beautiful. You need to read them, now." Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemens Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
"Review" by , "These are lurid, ingenious, beautiful, delicate, and very funny stories. Full of pity and terror, they are also great fun to read. Wells Tower has written a brilliant book."
"Synopsis" by ,

“This arresting debut collection of stories decisively establishes Mr. Tower as a writer of uncommon talent.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Synopsis" by ,
A dark and bitingly humorous collection of short stories from the "brilliantly evocative" Paul Theroux (Time)
"Synopsis" by ,
From the author who penned The Wake of Forgiveness, ten remarkable stories that tackle what it means to be a man.

"Synopsis" by , For fans of George Saunders and Raymond Carver, this powerful, imaginative story collection takes readers on a journey from the afterlife to contemporary times to the early days of Mormonism—a stunning debut  by an acclaimed McSweeneys and Tin House contributor.  

"Synopsis" by ,
Winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

Named "Outstanding 2014 Collection" by The Story Prize

Pushcart Prize WinnerIn this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death,” an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders,” in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.

 

The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in “Diviner,” a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next.Godforsaken Idaho named 'Outstanding 2013 Short Story Collections' by The Story Prize

"Synopsis" by , From the critically acclaimed author of The Wake of Forgiveness—“a mesmerizing, mythic saga,” as described by the New York Times—come ten remarkable stories that uncover unexpected beauty in the struggles of the modern American male.

Like Richard Russo, Bruce Machart has a profound knowledge of the male psyche and a gift for conveying the absurdity and brutality of daily life with humor and compassion. Whether they find themselves walking the fertile farmland of south Texas, steering trucks through the suffocating sprawl of Houston, or turning logs into paper in the mills just west of the Sabine River, the men of these stories seek to prove themselves in a world that doesnt always welcome them. Here are men whose furrows are never quite straight and whose hearts are near to bursting with all the desires they have been told they arent supposed to heed.

Bruce Machart is one of our most ambitious and fearless young writers. With Men in the Making, he has composed a remarkable paean to the complex fragility of the American male. I read these stories in a state of tender amazement.”—Steve Almond, author of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

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