Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned:
by Wells Tower
$24.00 List Price
A chess hustler, a snoop in wheelchair, a budding recluse who communes with weird fish, a pair of brothers fighting over whether they should buy a mountain, and a man who gets beaten up by a welterweight in a parking lot. The ensemble cast from a Bob Dylan song, circa 1964? No, just a partial lineup of the people we meet in Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, the short-story debut from Wells Tower.
As evidenced by the emotional punch packed into such brief tales—nine stories in about 250 pages—Tower is almost incapable of overloading a sentence with an unnecessary word. His style is perfectly suited to short fiction: “Down Through the Valley,” in less than twenty pages, is jammed with more pathos than a four-hundred-page potboiler. Ed is a lonely sort who has recently separated from his wife, Jane; she
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