OVERRIDE

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Stories

Wells Tower

Picador

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of The New York Public Library’s Young Lion Fiction Award
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned Just as we were all getting back into the mainland domestic groove, somebody started in with dragons and crop blights from across the North Sea. We all knew who it was. A turncoat Norwegian monk named Naddod had been big medicine on the dragon-and-blight circuit for the last decade or so, and was known to bring heavy ordnance for whoever could lay out some silver. Scuttlebutt had it that Naddod was operating out of a monastery on Lindisfarne, whose people we’d troubled on a pillage-and-consternation tour through Northumbria after Corn Harvesting
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  • Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

    Viking marauders descend on a much-plundered island, hoping some mayhem will shake off the winter blahs. Watch animator Chris Roth's short adaptation of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned -- the title story of Wells Towers' highly anticipated debut story collection.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

"This arresting debut collection of stories decisively establishes Mr. Tower as a writer of uncommon talent."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
"Artful and funny and empathetic.  His fictional universe is a perfectly balanced little biosphere of violence and mercy, aggression and nurturing."--Sam Anderson, New York magazine
 
"A striking, often savage first collection of stories.  Tower's language is as compact and muscular as a wrestler's body."--Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Tower writes about raggedy men, neglected boys, and quarrelsome Vikings who are down on their luck (if they ever had any).  But the stories are very funny, and surprising, and possess a rugged beauty."--Vendela Vida, Vanity Fair
 
"Tower seems incapable of writing a boring description.  A crackling, head-turning debut."--Jonathan Miles, Men's Journal
 
"It sometimes feels as if there's nothing Tower can't render in arresting fashion.  His prose is a welcome reminder that the first job of the fiction writer is to introduce the reader to worlds both new and familiar in ways they wouldn't have arrived at on their own."--Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times
 
"Wells Tower's stories are written, thrillingly, in authentic American vernacular--violent, funny, bleak, and beautiful.  You need to read them, now."--Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

In the Press

Book Review - 'Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,' by Wells Tower - Review - NYTimes.com
This polished debut story collection takes its sustenance from class conflict, rough men and strong women, and the intersection between hotheads and cool customers.
- The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Wells Tower

  • Wells Tower’s short stories and journalism have appeared in The New YorkerHarper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Washington Post Magazine, and elsewhere. He received two Pushcart Prizes and the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review. He divides his time between Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.
  • Wells Tower
    Wells Tower
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Available Formats and Book Details

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Stories

Wells Tower

New York Public Library Young Lions Award Finalist, New York Public Library Young Lions Award Winner

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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