It’s not the America we are used to, and it may not be the America we want to read about. But it’s an America that should be remembered. “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” Wells Tower’s debut story collection, gives us nine fascinating portraits of men who are alienated from society, who have been abandoned by their families, wives, and children to long stretches of angst, loneliness, and madness. In a rave review for the New York Times, Edmund White writes:
Tower can write with equal power about young women and boys; about hell-raising, skull-bashing ancient Vikings and an observant housebound old man of the 21st century, even about a cheerful, insouciant pedophile. His range is wide and his language impeccable, never strained or fussy.