Drowned Boy: Stories

( 3 )

Overview

"These [stories] are rust-belt blues, then, a vision of and lament for a past time and a swiftly changing place. They're not showy—the language is plain, the tragedy muted, the comedy low-key and wry—but they stick in the mind. Ray Carver would recognize these characters and situations, as would poet Philip Levine. I like to think that they would share my appreciation for this fine first book, built slowly and carefully over some years, and worth the wait."—Andrea Barrett

Jerry Gabriel delivers an unsentimental ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $8.80   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
Drowned Boy: Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$15.95 List Price

Overview

"These [stories] are rust-belt blues, then, a vision of and lament for a past time and a swiftly changing place. They're not showy—the language is plain, the tragedy muted, the comedy low-key and wry—but they stick in the mind. Ray Carver would recognize these characters and situations, as would poet Philip Levine. I like to think that they would share my appreciation for this fine first book, built slowly and carefully over some years, and worth the wait."—Andrea Barrett

Jerry Gabriel delivers an unsentimental portrait of rural America in Drowned Boy, a collection of linked stories that reveals a world of brutality, beauty, and danger in the forgotten landscape of small-town basketball tournaments and family reunions. In "Boys Industrial School," two brothers track an escaped juvenile convict, while in the titular novella, a young man and woman embark on a haphazard journey to find meaning in the death of a high-school classmate. These stories probe the fraught cusp of adulthood, the frustrations of escape and difference, and the emotional territory of disappointment––set in the hardscrabble borderlands where Appalachia meets the Midwest.

Jerry Gabriel studied at Ohio State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has worked as a science writer and taught writing at a number of colleges and universities, including, from 2001 to 2008, Cornell University's Engineering Communications Program. Currently, he is a visiting assistant professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In Moraine, Ohio, a single highway is the only link to the outside world. The names of its streets are unadorned: Market, Mulberry, and Main. Home to a crumbling high school, a few fast-food places, and a sluggish river that cleverly reversed direction, Moraine is a postindustrial speck in southern Ohio bordered by Appalachia and West Virginia, an isolated community where change comes slowly, if at all.

In Gabriel’s evocative collection, this sense of place is defining and connects each of the characters’ lives – parents, children, teachers, coaches, and the loners – those who somehow end up in Moraine rather than somewhere else. While a few are young enough to remember where another choice might have led, most are too dug in to care: a teenager who witnesses a drowning, a young man who abandons a once passionate love, children who crossed paths with an escaped convict.

Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (adjudicated by National Book Award winner Andrea Barrett), Gabriel’s debut is remarkably wise and affecting – a lament for childhoods long gone and the innocence and hope that’s left behind. Simply told and gracefully written, Gabriel’s stories coil around in your head – lingering, suggesting, probing – their heartfelt effect built word by word and line by line.

From the Publisher
“In Gabriel’s first volume of fiction, the bare and austere landscape is reflected in the tightly written, almost stripped, prose.”
—Ann H. Fisher, Library Journal

“Eight linked stories, set among boys and men in southern Ohio, have the masculine virtues of honest craft and plain, carefully chosen language. The author, who grew up in rural Ohio, put years into writing that sticks with the reader much longer than showier fiction.”
—Karen R. Long, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“In prose as spare and enchanting as the town’s landscape, Gabriel paints a beautiful and sobering portrait of Middle Americans trapped in a world of snow, ice, and inevitability.”
—Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

“The prose is spare, but hardly minimalistic. . . . if there are slower moments in the earlier stories, they do echo beautifully, not unlike our own memories.”
—James Tate Hill, Bookslut

“Sublime and stark, the stories in Drowned Boy showcase Jerry Gabriel’s lean diction, crisp characterization, and exquisite storytelling. Readers eager to experience the very best in contemporary short stories need go no farther than this perfect collection.”
—Tim Davis, ForeWord Reviews

“Gabriel connects all of these stories through location, anchoring them to the lone highway or the river that run through Moraine, Ohio. . . . It’s a nuanced and complicated examination of the way grief is contagious, sparking dark emotions in people who initially are barely affected.”
—Jonathan Messinger, TimeOut Chicago

“With the publication of Drowned Boy, his first book of fiction, Jerry Gabriel has produced a devestating vision of the post-industrial experience in the American Midwest. Set in Moraine, Ohio, this powerful collection of stories is reminiscent in both its symmetry and spirit of Sherwood Anderson’s classic, Winesburg, Ohio.”
—Jesse Freedman, Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Committed to the experience of youth in a land “dark from the rain,” Drowned Boy proceeds with unyielding candor, slowly revealing the poverty of post-industrial Ohio. By the end of the this book, I was defenseless against Gabriel’s haunting, penetrating prose and prepared to advocate on behalf of his wounded, often desperate characters.”
The Literary Review

“Ultimately, the novella demonstrates Gabriel’s ease with writing a longer story. ‘‘Drowned Boy’’ might make some readers wish that Gabriel had written a novel. However, the collection as a whole refuses tidy conclusions and long-term relationships; it reveals people in isolation with only brief moments of startling connection.”
—Rachel Bara, Prairie Schooner

Publishers Weekly
In this low-key, lusterless debut collection, Gabriel follows two brothers growing up while testing the boundaries of authority in rural Ohio. Switching among different viewpoints in quasi-chronological order, Gabriel begins with Donnie and Nate Holland, ages 12 and eight, respectively, tracking down a runaway from the nearby delinquent boys' institution after their father is hospitalized. Instead of turning in the runaway for the reward, however, Donnie ends up disappearing with him for two days. In subsequent stories, the boys reach adolescence and young adulthood, Donnie continuing to run against the grain, joining the army and eloping; Nate, meanwhile, remains in town and works at the A&P, but still takes cues from his beloved big brother. Gabriel's writing is frustratingly bland, his character development minimal and his stories all too brief; in the longest tale, “Drowned Boy,” Nate and a girl meet at a wake, but take off on separate, meandering car trips, suspending the resolution in midair. Gabriel's listless plotting leaves readers wanting more of these sympathetic characters. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Small-town, economically depressed Moraine, OH, serves as background for these connected stories centering on the awkward coming-of-age of Nate Holland and his relationship with his older brother, Donnie. In Gabriel's first volume of fiction, the bare and austere landscape is reflected in the tightly written, almost stripped, prose. In "Boys Industrial School," the brothers track a boy who has escaped through the snow from the local reform school, hoping for a reward if they turn him in to authorities. Instead, Donnie ends up running off and helping the escapee get away. In the title story, a series of episodes follows Nate and another student who try to make sense of a classmate's death by drowning. In the final story, "Reagan's Army in Retreat," Nate tracks Donnie to their childhood home, only to discover he had left for Texas six months earlier. VERDICT Despite a bleak tone, Gabriel nicely crystallizes a sense of place and ably develops the emotional life of the main characters. For readers of literary fiction.—Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., VA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Jerry Gabriel studied at Ohio State, Northern Arizona University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has worked as a science writer and taught writing at a number of universities, including, from 2001-2008, as a lecturer in Cornell University's Engineering Communications Program. Starting in the fall 2008, he will be a visiting assistant professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword Andrea Barrett Barrett, Andrea

Boys Industrial School 3

Falling Water 21

Marauders 29

Atlas 39

Slump 55

Drowned Boy 71

Weather 123

Reagan's Army in Retreat 141

The Author 155

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    This small collection of short stories was a wonderful surprise

    I am not usually drawn to collections of short stories, but this book caught my attention on the shelf and the title made me take a second look. I needed something to keep in the car in case I had to wait somewhere. However, once I started to read it I couldn't put it down. This collection of short stories that all connect is so well written. The characters were so real and their tales so moving. I felt that I got to really know the characters and understand what they were experiencing. I was sorry when I reached the last page. This is a wonderful collection of short stories and I am sure I will read it again.

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

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)