Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone: A Novel

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone: A Novel

by Stefan Kiesbye


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143121466
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 830,342
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stefan Kiesbye has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Born on the German coast of the Baltic Sea, he moved to Berlin in the early 1980s. He studied drama and worked in radio before starting a degree in American studies, English, and comparative literature at Berlin's Freie Universität. A scholarship brought him to Buffalo, New York, in 1996. Kiesbye now lives in Portales, New Mexico, where he teaches creative writing at Eastern New Mexico University. He is also the arts editor of Absinthe: New European Writing. His stories and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and his first book, Next Door Lived a Girl, won the Low Fidelity Press Novella Award and was praised by Peter Ho Davies as "utterly gripping," by Charles Baxter as "both laconic and feverish," and by Robert Olmstead as "maddeningly powerful."

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Chilling . . . Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson . . . If you loved The White Ribbon—or the trope of sinister children generally—Stefan Kiesbye’s Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone is essential reading.” —The Paris Review Daily
“Chilling . . . inflicting both terror and wonder. . . . Kiesbye digs deep . . . and comes up with horrific gold. . . . There is just one word potent enough to describe [it]: the novel is sublime.” —BookPage
“As in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery,’ the vague setting heightens the narrative tension. . . . Too subtle to be lurid yet too spooky for comfort, this book should appeal to readers of psychological fiction and literary tales of the supernatural.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] wicked novel . . . Stunning . . . [There is a] quiet, unnerving effect [to] Kiesbye’s Brothers Grimm–like prose. . . . An episodic, poetic, nightmarish offspring of Grace Metalious’s Peyton Placeand Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.” —Booklist
“Nearly always startling . . . Quietly savage . . . Clinically dispassionate and chilling . . . Smack[s] of shades of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King . . . In an age when ‘torture porn’ still makes regular returns to the multiplex every Halloween, it’s worth being reminded that novelists, especially gifted ones, can make the trespasses we inflict on others just as ghastly as any chain-saw massacre.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A very elegant nightmare, so appalling and so beautiful.” —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry
“By turns creepy, sensitive, unsettling, and beautifully written, but best of all, it provokes dark stirrings while always providing great pleasure. Stefan Kiesbye would be a writer to watch out for if he had not so clearly already arrived.” —Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone
“Creepy in a way that actually made me quite nervous.” —Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
“With a chilling twist here and there, a sly, stark wit, and a fascinating cast of lost boys and girls, Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone is part nostalgia trip and part horror show, as honest and heartfelt as The Virgin Suicides in its portrait of adolescent yearning, anxieties, and heartbreak.” —Timothy Schaffert, author of The Coffins of Little Hope
“A brilliant amalgam of Faulkner, the Brothers Grimm, and Günter Grass as if condensed for intensity.” —Josip Novakovich, author of Fiction Writing Workshop and Writing Fiction Step By Step
“Quick, hypnotic, and intensely creepy. The characters are all doomed. ‘Doomed to what?’ is the only question, and you won’t put the book down until you find out.” —Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River and Between Two Fires
“Full of dark folk magic and frightful, lurid wonder. It casts a spell, winking all the way through every grim detail and shadowy secret.” —Paul Elwork, author of The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

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Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
The tale is told from the points of view of four children who grew up in this remote village. They are Christian, Anke, Martin and Linde. While the book reads like a collection of short stories the author ties them beautifully together from Christian's POV. Christen has returned home after a death in the family. While there he revisits his youth. I wasn’t so much scared by the tales as totally freaked out and fearful of the unknown. Told in a matter-of-fact tone each tale made me shiver. The stories overlap in time frame and that added to the tale. Kiesbye makes the accounts seem eerily real and I had to remind myself this is fiction. From the ominous Kamphoff manor, to the family that mysteriously disappears and the child who murders; these tales will definitely give you the chills. The author cleverly revealed bits and pieces and set bait to keep you on edge. Is this town cursed? Are the people possessed? Is something in the water? The thrill in these tales lie in how close they come to reality and the way in which the author shares them with you. The synopsis refers to the Brothers Grim and this town definitely gives off similar vibes. (shivers) I want to thank Penguin books for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was interesting to see children deal with such adult issues and dark deeds. It was a nice october read but not the greatest thing I've ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I love about this book are some of the sentences. They are so precise and beautifully written and made everything very visual.
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CarolSTexas More than 1 year ago
It's so rare to come across a horror story that does something new. Kiesbye does just that. My husband found a two line review of this book in an entertainment magazine while waiting in a doctor's office and pass the book's title on to me because he thought the title alone was worth a mention at the dinner table.. I'm glad he did. Written from the different perspectives of four people who grew up in the same small German town, each chapter weaves into the next with strange plot twists and shocking town news that is reported with about as much excitement as a weather forecast. That's what makes each chapter so eerie in my mind. The characters stuck with me long after I finished the book and the setting took me to a place and a culture that is rarely written about. I recommend this one to friends who like a good, morbid scare AND a quick read. Well done, Kiesbye.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful well written book and i look forwarf to more if the authors work.
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