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Everything Ravaged Everything Burned
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About the Author

Tower was born in Vancouver in 1973. He has been the recipient of the Paris Review Discovery Prize, two Pushcart Prizes and a Henfield Foundation award. He lives in New York.

Reviews

The stories in this outstanding debut collection explore the troubled relationships of men down on their luck, in failed marriages, estranged from family, caught in imbroglios between sons and their fathers and stepfathers, and even, in "Wild America," the subtle and ferocious competition between teenage girls. Bob Monroe, the protagonist of "The Brown Coast," loses his job, his inheritance and his wife after the death of his father. The narrator of "Down Through the Valley," meanwhile, is persuaded to drive his ex-wife's boyfriend home from an ashram after he injures himself. In "Leopard," the threat of a missing pet leopard lurking in the woods hints at a troubled 11-year-old's rage toward his stepfather. The narrator of "Down Through the Valley" has a savage freak-out that terrifies him. 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. Tower's 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. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

The title of this outstanding collection could well refer to the lives of the characters that Pushcart Prize winner Tower writes about-most often, individuals whose lives have fallen apart and are struggling through the difficult transition between a lost past and an uncertain future. In "The Brown Coast," a recent divorce working to restore a run-down seaside cottage in Texas owned by his uncle makes the acquaintance of a veterinarian and his wife. "Retreat" concerns the strained relationship between another middle-aged divorce who has recently purchased land in Maine and the brother he invites for a visit, a solitary music therapist from Seattle. The title story, ranging farthest in place and time, ostensibly concerns a band of Vikings out on a rather desultory raid of a nearby island, but it seems as much about the universal transition from the wild single life to the settled world of marriage and family. Tower has crafted a powerful and assured debut collection. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, North Andover, MA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"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 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" "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"
"[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. Tower's 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)
"The title barely hints at the scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners power of the stories." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"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
"
"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 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"
"We need books like "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" . . . What [Tower's] portraits lack in grandeur, they compensate for in their accuracy . . . [The characters] live the way we Americans do." --Benjamin Alsup, "Esquire
""[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. Tower's 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)
"The title barely hints at the scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners power of the stories." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"Tower's debut story collection confirms what readers of "Harper's," "McSweeney's," "The Paris Review," and other major publications have known for some time: Tower is a serious talent . . . Tower's voice is honest and strange, humorous and insightful."--Kevin Clouther, "Booklist
""Outstanding . . . Tower has crafted a powerful and assured debut collection." --Lawrence Rungren, "Library Journal
""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
"
"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 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"

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