Review: ‘Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned’, by Wells Tower

Everything Ravaged, Everything BurnedEverything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The range of style evinced here is stunning. I love that some of the stories are disruptive in their incompleteness, as if the endings were forgotten. The last two stories in particular (including the title piece) are pristine, absolutely deft with a tonal bravado that seems effortlessly, paradoxically subtle.

The stories that have a great deal going on cohere flawlessly and the stories where almost nothing happen let their steady, hummed silence do all the proper work; compelling feels like an understatement. One wonders what Tower might manage in a novel, though he stretches his limbs so naturally in the short story form I wonder if more collections like this one are what’s to be expected, and gladly.

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