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Fires Paperback – December 31, 2006

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Fires is a striking work reminiscent of James Salter (A Sport and a Pastime) in its combination of a cool unforgiving eye and a hot intensity of feeling and sensual immediacy. --John Crowley, author of Little, Big

Fires is fantastic. It s often dark, often startlingly beautiful, and it s crammed with a smoky, foreboding atmosphere that kept pulling me along, thrilled and a little scared, toward the end. --Scott Heim, author of Mysterious Skin and the forthcoming We Disappear

Fires is a novel full of creeping menace and near-apocalyptic lunacy . . . the book is a blast to read. --Victor LaValle, author of The Ecstatic

About the Author

Nick Antosca lives, works, and writes on the east coast of the United States of America. He was born in the state of Louisiana

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Impetus Press; 1st edition (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977669327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977669325
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,585,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian G. Dorward on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nick Antosca has created a compelling, oftentimes brilliant look at humanity--its suffering, its cruelty, its love, and its healing. The other reviews point out that this is a "good debut," but that's dismissive; it's just plain good, and sometimes frighteningly so. That this is a first novel just inspires awe at a new writer's prowess.

The novel is short, yes, but it lingers long after it's been read and set aside. That kabuki mask on the cover keeps staring at you, reminding you of where you've been and what it meant.

Structurally, Fires unfolds like a boxing match against a seasoned pro who initially toys with you, throwing light jabs here and there to tease and play, but who gradually starts battering the bones with increasingly brutal and merciless blows until he finally has you against the ropes, and you're just hoping that some shred of humanity remains behind those lead-smelted fists. The images, the metaphors, and all the elements of the novel's language become increasingly feverish and passionate towards the end, as if exacting some revenge you never expected or thought you warranted--not at all unlike what happens in the actual plot.

And the plot, you will see, contains a startling relevance to recent events in the news, as if the author possessed amazing prescience to unleash his work on the public at exactly the right time. Questions that this country has been puzzling over for weeks are addressed with cogency in Fires.

This is the first, I hope, of many novels by this exciting new author. I'm eagerly awaiting the rest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott J. Forman on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nick Antosca has a precociously forceful voice, a magnetic narrative sense, and a sharp eye for telling detail ("A little boy's cap lies flat in the sand, as if he's down there too"). This is a spark plug of a book; a thoroughly enjoyable novel from a talented young writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Reader on February 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fires is a good debut novel...there is a lot going on as the book jacket says, "Deer running through a ghost neighborhood, A boy trapped in a basement for 8 years, three young people locked in a violent sex triangle." But I also liked the writing in this book: "A lean, sinewy guy wearing a faded baseball cap. He reaches out to grab my arm, scaring up an unexpected gust of moths in my belly." Or this one: "I love you," I whispered so quietly that, to my relief, she didn't seem to hear and never took her eyes from the mesmerizing crimson water. I looked away savoring the blissful warmth in my chest that came from saying those words and also glad that she had not heard and therefore could not later use it against me." I found the book easy and quick to read; if you're a book lover this one will go quick and we can only hope that this new writer may have just started to scratch the surface.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mikedoeseverything on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
FIRES is a novel by Nick Antosca about "three young people locked in a violent sex triangle..." well, sort of. It's also about "a boy trapped in a basement for eight years," but at the same time, it also has "deer running through a ghost neighborhood." Oh, and there are no quotation marks, for like, when the characters talk and stuff. But this isn't a problem. In as few words as possible, I can say that FIRES is actually a pretty difficult book to label and describe without revealing too much of the plot. I can also say that it is fairly easy to read because FIRES features some of the sharpest prose I have ever seen.

A brief summary of FIRES would sound horribly mundane and rather dull, especially when compared to, say, a thriller like CODEX or a Tom Clancy novel (yuck). Part of the charm lies in the fact that many people can/could probably relate to some of the events that take place in the book. It talks about: love, anger, sex, frustration, depression, violence, sickness, drinking/alcoholism and a few other things that make up significant portions of our everyday lives.

The author basically tells a story that sort of unravels in reverse, as the major characters are quickly revealed in just the first few pages. On page 2: "James Dearborn is someone I know from high school. And George Mursey is a big, affable guy from my home town, a neighbor from just across the street. A high school teacher, a football coach. Not a guy you'd expect to-- Wait. I don't want to think about it yet. I want to think about Ruth." And the next section of the book, of course, is titled "Ruth."

The book isn't just one long continuous account of Jon Danfield's life and it's not a stream-of-consciousness crap-fest either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Pizarro on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read Fires in one sitting, as I imagine most people do. Easily engrossing, and certainly fast-paced, Nick Antosca manages not only to tell a fascinating story, but to write an excellent novel as well. With prose above all vivid, nuanced characters and appropriate (if standard) episodic plotting, Fires is well-worth reading, and thinking about too. The first time through I was simply gorging myself on the story, yet rest assured - the prose is still savory the second time through, and there are little joys to discover ("Girls who play games should be shipped off to an island with a volcano."). Let no one accuse Antosca of inauthenticity: half the book takes place at Yale, from which Antosca graduated in '05; the other half in a Maryland suburb similar to where Antosca grew up. The novel just begins, the reader thrust into Yale senior John Danfield's world. Through Danfield's eyes we see both Yale and New Haven from the sideline of both. Danfield lingers on the fringes, barely a student in the literal sense. John meets Ruth, damaged goods with an edge, and the two begin a schizophrenic courtship, by turns tender and violent, sometimes both. In the darkness that envelops the rest of the novel, only the monstrous fire that threatens the Eastern seaboard casts any light, and its glow is ominous. John moves in its shadow. As to the question of whether he emerges into the light, that's up to you to find out (and then perhaps to decide). Whole-heartedly recommended to anyone who likes...reading.
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