BookBrowse Reviews Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

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Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Stories

By Wells Tower

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

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Stories that offer a version of America touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit

He opened the refrigerator, which was empty and breathed out a sour-thermos smell. Shrunken ice cubes lay in trays in the freezer, and Bob popped one out and stuck it in his mouth. It tasted like old laundry. He spat it into the dusty cranny between the fridge and the stove.

That passage appears at the end of the second paragraph of the first story in Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, and it was at this point that I decided I was going to like Wells Tower's book. Sour thermos fridge. Old laundry ice cubes. That frightening no-man's-land down the side of the stove! Genius.

But I was nervous. Still on page one and already sold -- surely I was setting myself up for disappointment. Could the next 235 pages possibly follow through on the promise of the first? Would there be heart and meaning beyond the metaphors? I read on, and found that Bob -- the man who eats the old ...

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

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