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Escape and Reverse (Kindle Single) (Ploughshares Solos Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Chelsey Johnson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

High school wrestler Jake Persson is living on vitamins and diet Mountain Dew as he fights to make weight at the height of championship season. In the small mining town in northern Minnesota's Iron Range where Jake lives, this is the most exciting thing that has happened in years. During his last meet, Jake confronts his future and the unnerving sense that his own body and desires are starting to betray him. Chelsey Johnson writes a gripping story about hunger, control, and wrestling down desire.


A professor at the College of William & Mary, and writer for The Rumpus, Chelsey Johnson has published stories in a variety of magazines, including Selected Shorts, Ploughshares, One Story, and Avery, and is working on a novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 334 KB
  • Print Length: 41 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ploughshares / Emerson College (November 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,484 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Escape and Reverse" makes the familiar new. December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Chelsey Johnson takes the familiar "coming-of-age" genre and breathes new life into it, subverting expectations and twisting well-worn tropes about a high school wrestler's attempt to understand his own burgeoning sexuality. Her visceral and sensual prose effectively captures Jake's adolescence, a time in which both violence and lust are pretty much intertwined. Highly readable, this story is definitely recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two-points, takedown! December 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I have only just started reading it, given its Iron Range setting and wrestling themes it promises to be a highly engaging and rewarding work of fiction. Update now that I finished: The description of the state of being a wrestler really fits my memories from high school. On meet day they were like a pack of moody, starving wolves. The description of the Range and high school sports brought me back in time - nicely written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! December 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Escape and Reverse skillfully addresses some painful realities of coming of age in a small town. It is a well-written and highly enjoyable read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and provocative story March 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
"Escape and Reverse" is a gemlike coming of age story that touches with amazing delicacy on questions of how we build our identities--regional, class, sexual, gendered, interest--as we shift from late adolescence to the start of adulthood. I've re-read it twice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Poignant Story of Adolescent Self-Discovery February 2, 2013
By Vija
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story stayed with me for days afterward. The characterization and language are vivid and the pain of adolescence is very poignantly portrayed. We see the subtleties in human behavior that Jake does not yet understand and we see where he is going before he gets there, yet we experience it all intensely through his eyes and from his point of view every step of the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, crushing, uplifting. December 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Escape and Reverse is the sort of story that works its arms around the reader quietly, pinning you unawares in the best kind of headlock. It's subtle writing capable of melting into a flourish without ever reaching too far, or seeming forced. Beautiful work, and another venerable entry for the Ploughshares Solos series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Chelsey Johnson's "Escape and Reverse" is a beautifully woven story that doesn't sacrifice language, care, and precision despite its plot-driven composition. Her details are lovely, from Jake's diet Dew to every description of his body and movements. The story itself would resist any attempt to simplify and disentangle it from all the intersecting themes and problems. The action in the story moves at the perfect pace: slow enough that we get to take in all the lovely details, and fast enough that I stayed engaged enough to consume the whole thing in one sitting last night. Chelsey's story satisfies our current needs for both intellectual stimulation and drama. I grew attached to Jake within just a few moments of starting the story; I couldn't get enough of this world of mining towns, wrestling diets, and adolescent sexual tension. With everything that happens on the page, it sounds overwhelming, but it reads like the perfect meal: satisfying but not too filling, new but not alien, and a blend of complimentary, diverse tastes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad March 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not the type of story I usually read but not a bad story especially in today's climate. Quick, quirky, and intense all at once.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Was an interesting book. I liked how it was written and the experiences that were shared. Well done. I recommend it.
Published 16 months ago by Susan Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't regret reading this!
A touching short story that pulls at the heartstrings, gay or straight. Will leave you with a visceral feeling when you finish. Very powerful.
Published 18 months ago by sn4xx
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly abrupt ending and kind of predictable.
The sample I read of the book was good, it would have gotten 5 stars. The beginning flowed well, was well written and set up the story nicely. Read more
Published on March 30, 2013 by dev519
2.0 out of 5 stars Stale
This seems like a stale bit of writing program prose. It is virtually a checklist of cliches for modern short stories: graphic physical details (check), pointless po-mo passages... Read more
Published on January 22, 2013 by Gregory S. Martinez
2.0 out of 5 stars Escape and Reverse
I didn't know it was wrestling and I just was not interested. And if I did like wrestling, the story ended abruptly.
Published on January 18, 2013 by cmc
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Ending
I did like the story up to the ending, where the main character (at 17 yrs old) agrees to a sexual relationship with a man. Read more
Published on January 15, 2013 by Ralph
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Escape and Reverse
The writing was tight and the subject gritty but the ending was predictable. It was interesting to know what high school wrestlers go through to maintain weight and the main... Read more
Published on January 12, 2013 by Yvonne Osborne
2.0 out of 5 stars Escape and reverse
Book was good and vaa ery descriptive but ending was too abrupt and took an insignificant turn not relevant to the storyline,
Published on January 10, 2013 by ron beck
1.0 out of 5 stars Idk

I like cookies and this book was very different and kinda creepy. I was surprised how short it was. I hated it.
Published on January 7, 2013 by Rochelle Wade
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