Customer Reviews for

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Average Rating 3.5
( 44 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Excellent collection of Short Stories.

Everything Ravaged, is an instant classic of realism in short story.

posted by theredindian on May 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

All but one story were disappointing

Every story but one was left unfinished. I can take one or two of them with a grain of salt, sort of artistic liberty -- leaving the reader to wonder what would come next, but story after story after story with the same lack of a conclusion was exasperating. Only the la...
Every story but one was left unfinished. I can take one or two of them with a grain of salt, sort of artistic liberty -- leaving the reader to wonder what would come next, but story after story after story with the same lack of a conclusion was exasperating. Only the last one, "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" was worth reading.

posted by 1388967 on May 25, 2009

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An astonishing collection

    I was stunned at how lukewarm the reviews here are. This is an amazing book. Not every story is as good as another but it shines at its weakest points and touches something sublime at its best. The stories function on a smaller, intimate human scale. They are not barn burning thrillers or loud, flashy jazz riffs. Instead, they function as surgically precise insights into the small and private inner workings of flawed people with the best of intentions. People like everyone.
    They are not always cheery. In fact, they never are. But they do provide glimpses of hope and promise.
    The above is really all about story and character and tone but what made the book hum along for me was the incredible prose and extraordinary epiphanies Tower offers. Read this book. I can't wait for his next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    Technically good writing, but not involving.

    I really enjoyed the writing in this book, but oddly not the stories. As another review stated on here, the lack of conclusion in most of these shorts is slightly off-putting, mainly because you don't really become involved with or even care about the characters Tower has created. To read a story where you could give a flip about the people in them and then at the end not even know what the consequences of their actions are, or how their lives change because of what they experience is disappointing, and when I'd finished reading it I was left with the feeling that I'd just wasted my time on what could have been a truly great collection. The only stand-out for me was the title story, which was beautifully written and engrossing. The rest I could take or leave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009

    All but one story were disappointing

    Every story but one was left unfinished. I can take one or two of them with a grain of salt, sort of artistic liberty -- leaving the reader to wonder what would come next, but story after story after story with the same lack of a conclusion was exasperating. Only the last one, "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" was worth reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Excellent collection of Short Stories.

    Everything Ravaged, is an instant classic of realism in short story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Good stuff

    Strong voice, varied stories. Nice work.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Spectacular

    In one word: spectacular. This is what fiction is all about-- gorgeous prose, thrilling story-lines, completely new situations and characters. Each story is a brilliant little surprise. As a writer and a generally unsatisfied reader, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is one of the best books I have ever read (trust me, this is not something I say often). I recommend to all.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Had to get in to it

    Well written and well thought out just kind of slow at timeS for me. The reason some poeples reviews are blazay is because some the ebst parts of the collection are everyday em and you type things. It has to be your brand of tea I like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Outstanding writer

    These are short stories of the classic kind: well crafted and complete vignettes that give the reader an x-ray view of the characters and context in few pages. The perspective is dark and cynical but not snide. The writing is amazing but I imagine the stories would appeal more to men than women.

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A fresh collection..

    I'd read all the good reviews for "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" and kept seeing the book different places, my anticipation was building..

    Wells Tower can write, extremely well. His stories are very, very well written and leave you wanting to know more at the end.

    These stories are the kind most readers will either love or hate. The book consists of nine stories, with each story being around 18-30 pages long.

    Of the nine stories, I like all but two of them. "Wild America" was long and didn't really go anywhere and the title story "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" didn't blow me away, as it did to some reviewers it seems. The story was supposed to have alot of WOW factor, but I've read too many other graphic stories for that.

    My favorites were:

    Retreat
    Down Through the Valley
    Leopard
    Door In Your Eye

    The great story "On the Show" has all the makings of a good novel and has a great cast of characters to go along with it.

    Overall, a very good collection and a great start for Wells Tower~

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thank you, "The New Yorker" magazine for showing me Wells Tower

    Excellent. I'm not a big short story enthusiast, but "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" is great. I read something of Mr. Tower's in the "New Yorker" some time back and had to have more. Why David Sedaris didn't mention Mr. Tower ten years ago, I cannot fathom. The title story is a hoot, as are all of the others. Warning to the literal-minded: forget this book, you won't get it.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    Not impressed

    I was not impressed with this book. Was very disappointed. No, you couldn't get attached to the characters because there were no conclusions as to what happens. The stories just stop at the oddest points. I did not like it, and probably will not read another book from this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Great Writing

    texture of language, laugh out loud, witt, tenderness, and the profane. whatever, just read this for fun. it's great literature that tastes like candy. hard candy. you mouth and such on the sentences for a long time.

    pulpy southern gothic black tender reflective short fiction. the kind of book you hope for. the quirky surprise of murakami, but you don't have to read it in translation.

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    Posted December 19, 2009

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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