• Paperback 5″ x 8″
• List price: $15 Print / $4.99 ebook
• ISBN: 978-0988201323
• Publisher: MG Press
• Language: English

Years from now, America is slowly collapsing. Crops are drying up and oil is running out. People flee cities for the countryside, worsening the drought and opening the land to crime. Amid this decay and strife, war veteran David Parrish fights to keep his family and farm together. However, the murder of a local child opens old wounds, forcing him to confront his own nature on a hunt through dust storms and crumbling towns for the killer.

                                “Shonkwiler takes the world on his own terms, and wrestles it to the ground.”
                                —Tom Lutz, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Shonkwiler has taken an iconic landscape and filtered it through near-collapse and fear, then through loyalty and love.”
Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist

“Sparse and poetic, the words within these pages are as sharp as a corn knife.”
Frank Bill, author of Donnybrook and Crimes in Southern Indiana

“Shonkwiler captures a uniquely American way of life that feels both timeless and contemporary at the same time. The struggles his men wrestle with are no different; they are as ancient as honor and death, and as timely as the economics of our day. A rare, stark, and beautiful achievement.”
Paula Bomer, author of Nine Months

“Shonkwiler creates a very distinctive, memorable story. We practically breathe in the dust that rises up out of nowhere, beautiful and terrifying.”
Jennifer Messner, Books, Personally

Above All Men is a book you will not find yourself capable of walking away from. It grabs you by the throat and slowly starts to choke all of the air out of you ... before you reach the end of the first page. It’s a tale of survival as much as it is one of destruction, and Shonkwiler pulls it off effortlessly.”
Lori Hettler, The Next Best Book Club

“The straightforward prose is peppered with well-earned poetry, and pulls out moments of profound complexity through its simplicity. An entirely rewarding read.”
Jacob Budenz, JMWW Journal

“Shonkwiler’s words are brilliantly poetic — quiet creepers that seem stark and undecorated on the surface, but the lines hum with underlying emotion that, while not set effusively in the words, is the very cement of the foundation beneath them.”
Leah Angstman, Los Angeles Review of Books

Above All Men does not suffer fools gladly. It is narrated in concise language representative of the protagonist’s black-or-white moral compass, in a bleak but restless Midwest that is as much a character as any person. Think pre-apocalyptic Atticus Finch.”
Lydia Davis, Two-Legged Animal

“Shonkwiler lands somewhere between a soberer Hemingway, a more linear Faulkner, a heavy rotation of Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads, a couple’a shots of Bulleit, an infected snakebite, and Cormac McCarthy.”
Leah Angstman, Dashboard Citizen

“Despite the bleakness, you want to roadtrip to this town with a camera. Shonkwiler’s description promises starkly, painfully beautiful shots. His imagery is that arresting. We can hope his future is fraught with books as honed as this one.”
Ann Beman, The Museum of Americana

“It is hard not to admire Above All Men. It is stark, compelling, and impossible to ignore. Shonkwiler’s prose rises and falls in poetic fashion; he has an excellent grasp of rhythm.”
Kenrick Vezina, Foreword Reviews

                               “Above All Men’s writing is so strong and clear that its power cannot be denied. This
                               book is a strong contender for the best book I’ve read this year. Shonkwiler is an author
                               to watch.”
                               —Sandie Kirkland, Booksie’s Blog

“Shonkwiler writes sparsely, but deeply — someone who knows that water, land, and sky can transform a life at each encounter.”
Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune

“You’ll find yourself immersed in one of the most beautifully and artfully crafted tales about courage and strength and the power of resilience. Shonkwiler is an author of immense talent. Above All Men resides on my list of top reads of my lifetime.”
L. M. Stull, author of A Thirty-Something Girl

“Well-written and possibly prophetic, Above All Men kept me reading to find out how much one man can endure.”
Tammy McCartney, San Francisco Book Review

“Shonkwiler renders the degraded deprivation of the protagonist’s unflagging resilience in artful, distinctively crafted language. Before I knew it, I was through the book, feeling unusually satisfied.”
Zack Kopp, The Examiner

“No other book has even come close to blowing me away like Above All Men did. It has incredible intensity, keeping the reader on tenterhooks. It does all of the things you want it to and some of the things you don’t. That’s what makes it so powerful.”
Lori Hettler, Chicago Literati

Above All Men is rural science fiction written with literary panache and a rare confidence. It weaves a compelling narrative together with tightly written prose and little touches that make the realities of the post-collapse society profoundly acute. Highly recommended. 10 out of 10.”
Karl Wolff, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP)

Above All Men is engrossing and frightening in its potential realities. A nod toward Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, but with a futuristic twist and a murder mystery combined. This book kept me up nights, and I imagine it will do the same for you.”
Paula Cary, Poet Hound

“Shonkwiler has masterful use of stark, raw style and form. The cadence of his words mirrors the landscape of his characters so intimately that the language and the story become inseparable. Above All Men will leave you uneasy, will leave you with questions, and most importantly, will leave you feeling alive.”
Steph Post, author of A Tree Born Crooked

“The prose is stark, sparse, and plainspokenly honest. Above All Men takes you to dark places, and it would be wise to pay attention.”
David S. Atkinson, Sundog Lit

“Shonkwiler’s streamlined approach to writing dialogue creates characters’ conversations that bleed into their movements and actions in a way that feels more like verse than prose. The way Shonkwiler duels his protagonist’s two personalities against one another is brilliant, and watching this dichotomy unfold is nothing short of a crowning achievement. This guy’s writing is alive.”
Schuler Benson, The Lit Pub

                               “Rarely does a writer achieve heights that seem almost superhuman, that stun me
                               because they’re just so damn good. Shonkwiler does that, and does it with vicious
                               restraint. Above All Men has my highest recommendation.”
                               —Taylor Brown, author of In the Season of Blood & Gold

Above All Men kicked in my teeth and floored me pretty good. A lot of writers draw comparisons to Cormac McCarthy, but few really bring those goods to the table. Shonkwiler does, and he does it with such restraint that the writing just quivers on the page like a flexed muscle.”
Taylor Brown, Revolution John

“Lean, no-BS storytelling is how Shonkwiler rolls. He uses the same style of simple, unadorned prose, the same technique of not using quotation marks to indicate dialogue, and the same rural setting, yet does what McCarthy never could do. Shonkwiler makes (miserably) living, (barely) breathing, emotionally vital (if suffering) people that I can invest in. And he does it in fewer words.”
Richard Derus, Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

“You can’t ask for better storytelling. There is so much to enjoy about this novel: the sparse, direct prose, being told a story by someone who held narrative most important, characters as realized as anything you’d want, that just could not have been better crafted. I simply cannot imagine a better result for a debut.”
Sheldon Lee Compton, Revolution John

“Like pretty much everyone else who’s read him, Eric Shonkwiler is my favorite author I’ve read recently. Above All Men is so good, and his short fiction hits so hard. The guy is truly built to write.”
Schuler Benson, author of The Poor Man’s Guide to an Affordable, Painless Suicide

Above All Men’s got incredibly spare prose—short sentences, terse dialogue—but if you treat this like a fast-paced book, you will miss out. Shonkwiler has an extremely rare gift for economy of prose, and he can move more plot in three short sentences than most writers can in a full paragraph.”
Karen Brissette, reader for Barnes & Noble Discover Program

Above All Men is so well built, I mean brick-cigar-house built. A fully realized not-too-distant future, a fully realized set of characters. Most of the time, with a debut, a reader can point to things that blow the cover on it being a first book. Not this one. Not a single flaw.”
Sheldon Lee Compton, Bent Country

“This incredibly gorgeous, haunting, poetic near-future tale that blends the richness of McCarthy with the sparseness of Hemingway with the poetry of Faulkner with a voice and precision that is uniquely Shonkwiler’s, is hands-down my favorite book of 2014. I cannot even tell you how it blew me away and resonates with me still. If you buy only one book this year, make it this one.”
Leah Angstman, The Spark

Above All Men is accomplished, revelatory, and inspired, with relatability so often lost in works set in an apocalyptic landscape. Its sparseness is one of its strongest aspects, without a sentence wasted. Shonkwiler uses a cinematic narration style, presenting everything without commentary, letting all the horror, truth, and beauty show through by itself.”
William Wright, Chicago Book Review

“When I first started reading Above All Men back in January of 2014, I remember being only a handful of pages in and already referring to it as my favorite book of the year. Here I am, seventy-three books and twelve months later, and nothing I’ve read since has even come close.”
Lori Hettler, The Spark

                               “Shonkwiler’s subtle humor, along with his grotesque finesse, allow for a sense of
                               unsettling enjoyment”
                               —Laurel Nusbaumer, Tempo Magazine