Taylor Brown Fiction
Eric’s novel, Above All Men, received a glowing review by author Taylor Brown on his website, Taylor Brown Fiction:
“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. I can’t wait to see what Shonkwiler does next.”
“I don’t usually review the books I read, but when I do, it’s a book as good as Eric Shonkwiler’s Above All Men. There is a lot of comparing done these days of writers to Cormac McCarthy, and I find most such comparisons unmerited, to be honest.
Not in this case.
Rarely does a writer achieve heights that seem almost superhuman, that stun me because they’re just so damn good. Eric Shonkwiler does that, and does it with vicious restraint.
I will not give you a synopsis; I will give you a passage:
Another bolt of lightning wired down and brightened, disappeared and flickered back. The sky and ground darkened and in the cloud were seams and wrinkles of cobalt that glowed as if the whole thunderhead were alight. The air shook. David took Samuel by the collar and guided him indoors. From inside they could only see the green air bright as neon. The wind bent the trees and the house creaked. Samuel went to look out the window in their bedroom and David followed, Helene behind him, and they watched a black cloud the shape of a slug twist down from the sky and a plume of dust rise to meet it.I mean, Jesus Christ people. Now combine that with dialogue like this:
He breathed in and stabbed the fork into the meatloaf, let it stand.
Why don’t you stick around for the day?
They said this guy moves around a lot.
Danver’s face pinched. You’re giving me gray hairs.
You’re givin’ someone gray hairs.
Probably myself. I haven’t looked in the mirror lately.
Maybe you should.
The family dynamics are handled exceptionally well, as is the inner strife of the main character, and the images of a dust-ridden Midwest are not to be missed. Above All Men has my highest recommendation. I can’t wait to see what Shonkwiler does next.”
Search Tags: Eric Shonkwiler, Above All Men, Schuler Benson, The Lit Pub