on San Francisco Book Review
Eric’s novel, Above All Men, received a favorable review by Tammy McCartney of San Francisco Book Review:
“Well-written and possibly prophetic, Above All Men kept me reading to find out how much one man can endure.”
“David Parrish lives in a future that looks like the past. When the novel opens, David and his fellow farmers have purchased the last of the diesel and work the land manually. He contends with drought, dust storms, looters, coyotes, and weather almost biblical in its intensity. There’s a miner who’s plotting to steal the land David won’t sell, and the surrounding cities are slowly deteriorating. David is a veteran of the oil wars, so he suffers from flashbacks and a lingering desire to perform good deeds to atone for wartime horrors. When a teenaged girl is shot on David’s land, he can no longer balance the needs of his family with his need for justice. He will do anything to keep his family safe and to punish the murderer.
Shonkwiler’s writing style replicates the bleakness and uncertainty of David’s world. There are no quotation marks, so it isn’t always clear who is speaking. David’s thoughts of the present and the past often occur without transition and in the same paragraph, making the two time periods run together. This style can be confusing but is particularly effective in setting the mood of the novel. Well-written and possibly prophetic, Above All Men kept me reading to find out how much one man can endure.”