Stranger Will: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Stranger Will Paperback – January 22, 2011


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, January 22, 2011
$24.01 $22.37

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Otherworld Publications LLC (January 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936593076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936593071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,543,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As someone who teaches, edits and reads for a living, I'm always looking for the scene, the character, the story I haven't read a thousand times over and over. Something with the spark of originality and the courage to be different. When I see that something new, it's always a joy. And, thanks to Caleb Ross and his Stranger Will, I had those moments of joy repeatedly throughout the book. This is an original--unlike anything you've ever read before.
--Rob Roberge, author of More than they Could Chew and Working Backwards from the Worst Moment of my Life


Stranger Will is a nightmare landscape littered with the carcasses of fatherhood and various social mores. This is one paranoid, challenging, beautiful, and pitch-dark book. I'm a little afraid of this Ross guy now; but I'll also read anything he writes.
--Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and In the Meantime


Just like a Palahniuk novel, Stranger Will reads volatile: it could go any way. Caleb J. Ross leads you with a wry smile into dark places, but by the time you realize it's too late. You will follow him anywhere.
--Alan Emmins, author of Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners


In his first full length novel, Kansas City native Caleb J. Ross waxes prosaic the age old case of jitters that comes with impending fatherhood…As the novel continues, the plot gets increasingly dark and starkly less comedy and Ross’s writing all the more pointed. It reads like a nightmare you wake up from in the middle of the night and spend the next day wondering how much of it was real. The twists are shocking and terrifying, but somehow founded in reason and not entirely unbelievable…Charles Bukowski dedicated the thinly fictionalized account of his young life, Ham on Rye, with the words “for all the fathers” as the simultaneous threat, fear, blame and praise a delinquent child squares on his father. Such a dedication would be fitting for Caleb J. Ross’s Stranger Will. --Stephen Krauska --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

William Lowson has two months to start believing in the world again.

William works as a human remains removal specialist, removing stains left by the dead. Whether by a bloody crime scene or a quiet domestic death, William is reminded each day of the frailty of human life. As his fiancée, Julie, nears term with their first child William becomes increasingly desperate for a way to overcome his belief that to birth is to kill.

But Mrs. Rose, an elementary school principal and messenger pigeon hobbyist, nurtures William's depressive outlook and claims to have a way to prove that William's hesitancy toaccept fatherhood is not only natural but necessary. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

More About the Author

Caleb began writing his sophomore year of undergrad study when, tired of the formal art education then being taught, he abandoned the pursuit in the middle of a compositional drawing class. Major-less and fearful of losing his financial aid, he signed up to seek a degree in English Literature for no other reason than his lengthy history with the language. Coincidentally, this decision not only introduced him to writing but to reading as well. Prior this transition he had read three books. One of which he understood.

His fiction and nonfiction has appeared widely, both online and in print. He is the author of Charactered Pieces: stories, Stranger Will: a novel, I Didn't Mean to Be Kevin: a novel, Murmurs: Gathered Stories Vol. One, and As a Machine and Parts. Develop an unhealthy relationship with him at http://www.calebjross.com. Voyeur at YouTube (http://www.calebjross.com/youtube). Stalk him on Twitter (http://www.calebjross.com/twitter). Pester him on Facebook (http://www.calebjross.com/facebook). Circle him at Google+ (http://www.calebjross.com/Google)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
14
4 star
5
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 20 customer reviews
The story itself is brilliant and unique.
NJMetal
My mouth is still hanging open when I think back on what I read.
CabinGoddess
They also made me think about all the polar opposites of those.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Thomas on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Caleb Ross writes lyrical prose that pulls you into the politics and morality of this story, Stranger Will. For most of us, children are the future, they represent hope and dreams. But in this novel they represent the fated, the already lost. Conspiracies only seem paranoid and insane if they have no base in reality. One of the most compelling images that has stuck with me in this novel, for years now, is the carrier pigeon, message tied to its tiny clawed foot, shot from the sky. The note stuck up on a wall, strings stretching from one place to another, one person to another, tying together layers of deceit, love, and failure. This is a novel you won't want to put down, and will compel you to check out more work by Caleb Ross. Keep a candle lit to keep away the stench, a light on to force away the dark forces, and a prayer in your heart that none of this comes anywhere near you. Or your children.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lea on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I keep procrastinating on writing a review for this book, mainly because I just don't know what to say about it. I'm not even sure how I feel about it!

Let's get the boring, nitpicky stuff out of the way -- as usual. Typos, which seemed to get worse as the book went along. Everything from misspellings to what seem to be misused words. Why?? I expect this in a goodreads win -- because they're most likely sending out proofs rather than finished editions -- but this wasn't a win, I bought this on Amazon, so I expect the quality to compare to any other book I'd pick up in a store. This kind of sloppiness just doesn't make me a fan.

Now that's out of the way . . .

This is a very interesting story. William and Julie are expecting their first child -- a child William is determined not to have. He works with heavy duty chemicals as a "human remains removal specialist", and fears the damage the chemicals may have already done to the unborn baby. In his endeavor to be rid of the child, he is helped by the mysterious Mrs. Rose.

This idea was so compelling to me that I had Amazon overnight a copy when I couldn't find it locally -- something I almost never do. I'm just too cheap to pay for that kind of postage, but I just had to read it as soon as possible.

Was it worth it?

I don't know. I found the characters and their lives grotesque and unlikable. Even Julie, who -- as a mom -- I felt I should have been most sympathetic to. They're all so mired in these ridiculously pointless lives, it's difficult to empathize with them. On the other hand, has any parent escaped having an instant (or more) of doubt and fear when faced with the reality of having children? It's such a huge responsibility, one I know I felt vastly unprepared for.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Krauska on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
In his first full length novel, Kansas City native Caleb J. Ross waxes prosaic the age old case of jitters that comes with impending fatherhood. William Lowson, Ross's protagonist, works cleaning up, not the dead, but the stains they have left behind. Will wonders throughout the book about the impressions people make on each other, on the walls, ceilings and floorboards of their demise, and most importantly their children. Ross is not afraid to take the unruly facts of reality and rub them in your face using whichever of the senses he can get his hands on. Speaking of his fiancé's home-style cooking, his nasty line of work and the inescapable ills of a terminal existence Will soliloquys, "onion and paprika cannot mask the taste of chemicals used to absolve blood and skin from highways and dashboards," and that's just the first page.

Stranger Will begins as something of a dark comedy. A reluctant father, trying to convince his fiancé to not carry the baby to term, or at least give it up after the fact, crudely makes jokes comparing the child to a tapeworm he once had, curiously named Paul. Will's chiding of Julie at first evokes chuckles and sighs for both their perversion and truisms but, counter to one's expectations of a leading figure in a novel, the jokes do not hide a nervous-yet-well-meaning-heart, rather something more pessimistic and Nietzsche-esque.

As the novel continues, the plot gets increasingly dark and starkly less comedy and Ross's writing all the more pointed. It reads like a nightmare you wake up from in the middle of the night and spend the next day wondering how much of it was real. The twists are shocking and terrifying, but somehow founded in reason and not entirely unbelievable.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. West-bulford on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I already had a sense of apprehension when I bought this book. I know Caleb, you see. I've read a fair amount of his work and one thing I know: his characters give me the willies. So having read the opener a little while back, I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into.

Stranger Will doesn't disappoint. It delivers a story which stirs up subject matter that's thought provoking and uncomfortable. William, the central character is - as the title suggests - a strange fellow (though the reason for the title is even stranger), and I often found myself bemused by his traits. Despite his pessimistic view on life, he has a curious sense of humour (if not a bit inappropriate) which made for an interesting personality. But the most beautiful and tragic (tragic because it comes too late) part of the story is his dawning realization in the latter part of the book that he has a lot more to understand about himself and what he actually, deep down, really believes.

Will isn't the only troubled character in the book. His closest friend has issues, but the real star of the book for me (because she is so sinister) is the woman that takes him under her wing. But it's more like the wing of a vulture than a hen.

Yes. A fascinating story with unusual characters and plot turns that I just didn't expect.

A satisfying read with a satisfying ending.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews