On Wells Tower and Exhausting Language

I’m late to the Wells Tower buffet, I know. And when I first began to read Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, I was doing a lot of lip-smacking. The language was so chewy. And dude knows how to wield a pen.

By the end of the collection, though, I was exhausted. In fact, I couldn’t even make it all the way through the titular story, last in the book, which is at least partially a George Saunders rip-off. (Right?) Because by that point, I was tired of wading through the thick pile of cleverness, the ironic delivery system that keeps Towers’ characters from ever having to get too personal or pained.

Of course, not everybody puts intimacy so high on her list of requirements for narration. But I do.

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