Synopses & Reviews
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE 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 car's 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. Wells Tower's version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons. With electric prose and savage wit, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a profound new collection of stories.
"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
"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
"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
"This arresting debut collection of stories decisively establishes Mr. Tower as a writer of uncommon talent." The New York Times
"This arresting debut collection of stories decisively establishes Mr. Tower as a writer of uncommon talent."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Artful and funny and empathetic. His fictional universe is a perfectly balanced little biosphere of violence and mercy, aggression and nurturing."--Sam Anderson, New York magazine "A striking, often savage first collection of stories. Tower's language is as compact and muscular as a wrestler's body."--Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle "Tower writes about raggedy men, neglected boys, and quarrelsome Vikings who are down on their luck (if they ever had any). But the stories are very funny, and surprising, and possess a rugged beauty."--Vendela Vida, Vanity Fair "Tower seems incapable of writing a boring description. A crackling, head-turning debut."--Jonathan Miles, Men's Journal "It sometimes feels as if there's nothing Tower can't render in arresting fashion. His prose is a welcome reminder that the first job of the fiction writer is to introduce the reader to worlds both new and familiar in ways they wouldn't have arrived at on their own."--Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times "Wells Tower's stories are written, thrillingly, in authentic American vernacular--violent, funny, bleak, and beautiful. You need to read them, now."--Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
About the Author
Wells Towers short stories and journalism have appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers Magazine, McSweeneys, The Paris Review, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Washington Post Magazine, and elsewhere. He received two Pushcart Prizes and the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review. He divides his time between Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.
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
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