Books
9.0

Wells Tower

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned [Farrar, Straus & Giroux]

Books Reviews Wells Tower
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Wells Tower

Startling views from a Tower

We begin with a story of a man waking on the floor of a beach house, saltine crumbs lodged in his ass. We conclude, in the title story, with an ambivalent Viking’s ruminations on love: “You wish you hated those people, your wife and children, because you know the things the world will do to them, because you have done some of those things yourself.”

Tower’s families and hapless men are bent and broken in a multitude of surprising and delightful ways. In “Leopard,” a boy’s attempts to outfox his wicked stepfather are complicated by a runaway pet leopard. In “Down Through the Valley,” a man is cajoled into picking up his ex-wife’s injured lover from a New Age spiritual retreat.

Tower occasionally over-explains, and some images seem enamored with their own (admittedly undeniable) beauty, but these are minor quibbles. Wells Tower is a ferociously talented writer, author of one of the most powerful and entertaining books you’re likely to come across this year.

ShareTweetSubmitPinMore