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Massive Cleansing Fire Paperback – February 1, 2017
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"It's time to admit what everyone knows: there's no bolder, no wittier critic of our modern, polarizing American culture than Dave Housley, who points out the absurdities in our relationships while reminding us why we must hold on to each other." ― Susan Muaddi Darraj
"Dave Housley has always been unparalleled in his ability to mock and embrace American pop culture in his fiction, and in his latest collection of linked stories, each ending in fire or the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, he raises the stakes, making us wonder what is scarier: the end of the world as we know it or the absurdity of the world as it is. With alternating wit and empathy, he has a deft touch in unearthing our shortcomings and also commiserating with us about them. Dave Housley is our Howard Zinn for the end times." ― Jen Michalski
"Who says compassion can’t co-exist with playfulness? Dave Housley strikes a match with these short stories that flicker between love and anxiety, life and death." ― Leslie Pietrzyk
“There are few writers who draw as nimbly, nor with as much heart, from pop culture as well as Dave Housley. His work is distinctly contemporary yet timeless. It can be cruelly accurate in its portraits, but at the same time I can't think of a writer more compassionate in his stories. Massive, Cleansing Fire is that rare book that does the near impossible. It is hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure. Reading it is like being held fast to the ground by a heavy man in a gorilla suit who is whispering the saddest love story you ever heard into your ears and tickling you so hard you laugh until tears come to your eyes.” ― Jensen Beach
"Once again, Dave Housley has shaped a singular collection to dazzle and delight, this time with a tool as old as civilization itself: fire. In eight stunning stories and an equal number of interstitial vignettes, Housley wields spark and flame and smoke as plot device, metaphor and theme, while balancing his uproarious comic sense with an unerring glimpse into the human heart. Reader, Massive Cleansing Fires doesn’t care that the roof is aflame. It lets that motherfucker burn" ― Tom Williams
"America is in a deep state of moral filth, and Housley's brilliant Massive, Cleansing Fire comes at the perfect time to wash us off with heat. If you don't love this book, you're the problem." ― Brian Allen Carr
"With Massive Cleansing Fire Dave Housley delivers both the humorous pop culture deconstructions and the despairingly nuanced domestic scenes we've come to expect from him. And yet, it is Housley's ability to keep doing these things in new and surprising ways that is becoming his hallmark. Housley is a craftsman, he is unstinting and he continues to raise the bar for all of us who would consider ourselves his peers." ― Ben Tanzer
"This book has all of the comedy, formal playfulness, and self-deprecating wisdom that I've come to expect from Dave Housley's stories, but it also has a lot of registers I hadn't noticed in his work before ― moody atmosphere, a sense of creeping dread, page-turner suspense ― all wrapped up in a collection as intricately plotted as a thriller. Massive Cleansing Fire burns bright, quick, and dangerously hot." ―
"In the mood to get your heart broken in a clown car? Look no further―you've found your book. Ditto if temping pirates is your
thing―and of course it is. Most importantly, if the world must end in fire―and apparently it must―there's no one I'd rather have walking me through the details than Dave Housley." ― Roy Kesey
About the Author
Dave Housley is a founding editor of Barrelhouse Magazine and a co-founder and organizer of the Conversations and Connections writers’ conference. He is the author of three previous short fiction collections. His work has appeared in Hobart, Mid-American Review, Nerve, and elsewhere.
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