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Everything Ravaged Everything Burned by…

Everything Ravaged Everything Burned (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Wells Tower

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7044013,451 (3.8)51
Title:Everything Ravaged Everything Burned
Authors:Wells Tower
Info:Penguin Canada (2010), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower (2009)


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English (38)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Sometimes, sometimes, after six or so large drinks, it seems like a sane idea to call my little brother on the phone. (first sentence of "Retreat," 31)

The place was the architectural equivalent of a biscuit dough remnant, a two-hundred-square-foot waste shape of crannies and recesses left over when the rest of the building had been sectioned into proper places to live. (from "Executors of Important Energies," 70)

For quite a while, we'd been nothing but an argument looking for different ways to happen. (from "Down Through the Valley," 91)

It was like watching wind. You could only see her by what she moved. (from "Door in Your Eye," 136)

The place was wild with fields of purple thistle, and when the wind blew, it twitched and rolled, like the hide of some fantastic animal shrugging in its sleep. (from "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned," 226)

He wouldn't look me in the face, stricken as he was by the awful fear that comes with getting hold of something you can't afford to lose. (from "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned," 237) ( )
  JennyArch | Feb 6, 2015 |
I would have given this book more stars, but I will never forgive Tower for what he did to Henry. Was that necessary? HE'S JUST A KID.

That being said, Tower is a great writer. I was trying to think of the best way to describe his writing, & ended up with 'heavy' but 'subtle' at the same time. Very heavy writing, you really have to pay attention to catch those amazing things like comparing wet, pink rock to corned beef, amongst other insanely fantastic visuals. You have to pay close attention for the humour of it all. He's so subtle with his heaviness & I love it.

These are stories about people with problems, burdens, & bad luck. One story left me completely depressed, but the others I found humour, & a tinge of happiness that left me with a good short story aftertaste. Also, all the Cackalacka in the book didn't hurt one bit. ( )
  mvbdlr | Aug 2, 2014 |
I usually hate short stories, but these were great. A rare book that lives up to the hype surrounding it.
The characters do awful, strange things in their attempts to make order in their lives. Brutal, funny and humane. Well written, but not in that awful McSweeney's/Iowa Writer's Workshop sort of way. ( )
  HenryKrinkle | Jul 23, 2014 |
Excellent writing, but kind of a downer. Many of the stories lack a cohesive ending, which isn't necessarily bad, it just added to the general feeling of hopelessness.

I was reading this while sitting outside practice rooms while my daughter was at a weekend-long flute workshop. I kept feeling ashamed of myself, like I'd done something really wrong that I knew was really wrong, but I couldn't think of anything I'd actually done. Then I realized that the shame of the characters was leaching into my own emotions. My spouse says I should stop reading books like this if I'm going to feel this way afterward. I'm not about to take his advice, but I will work harder to recognize it's happening before the shame really sets in.

The final story about the inner life of a Viking warrior is my favorite of the collection. I enjoyed how the Vikings in the story had such complex interactions and reactions to things. They would do these extremely brutal things that they're supposed to revel in or at least consider just part of a day's work, but instead a few are just burned out on pillaging and just want to settle down and live in peace. I tend not to think of Vikings as real people, but of course they were; this story (although fiction) helped me see the nuanced reactions they may well have had to all of the violence. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jan 20, 2014 |
The Viking story felt a little gimmicky at times and the carnival story had already worn me out a bit - but the first four stories are an unstoppable play that will win over just about any reader. Tower has a way with words, describing things uniquely without overdoing it, and he captures that late-90s feel of summer perfectly: a simpler time that was still terribly complex all the same. It's the right kind of collection to read on a hot-but-not-hot day, the sort of day that seems to've been washed away in the recent heatwaves of these unbearable summers. Things weren't necessarily better in these stories - but the memory makes them feel that way.

More at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-M7 ( )
  drewsof | Sep 10, 2013 |
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For my brothers: Dan, Lake, and Joe
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Bob Munroe woke up on his face.
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original title: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374292191, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of darkly comic short works includes the stories of a man who is thrown out of his house when his wife discovers his infidelity in a bizarre way, teen cousins who share a woodland comeuppance, and a youth who flees to a carnival life after being bitten by his father.… (more)

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