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Once You Break a Knuckle: Stories by [Wilson, D. W.]
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Once You Break a Knuckle: Stories Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This powerful collection by the author of Ballistics (2013) is set, as that novel is, in the Kootenay Valley of western Canada, a region that seems oddly akin to the American South, with an assortment of macho (if vulnerable) men, rednecks (“hicks”), pickup trucks, booze, and drugs. Although there is a sameness to the stories—young men working out difficulties with their Great Santini–like fathers and with women, all of whom are described as beautiful—Wilson captures those travails and the British Columbia setting with strength, passion (a not unmixed affection), wit, and compelling imagery. In “Big Bitchin’ Cow,” a young man saves his father from a “mean” bovine; in “The Elasticity of Bone,” another teen arranges a competitive judo match with his unsuspecting dad. Physicality is a strong element in these stories, many related by character and almost all by theme. The book comes with impressive endorsements (Margaret Atwood, Geoff Dyer) and will appeal to readers of Russell Banks and Daniel Woodrell. --Mark Levine


“Full of life . . . Emotionally powerful . . .Wilson, in the tradition of modern masters like Peter Taylor and Edward P. Jones, makes great use of the underutilized flash-forward to contextualize all that has come before, and to convey the sometimes horrific consequences of what he has just shown us.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“A massive achievement” ―The Guardian

“The stories patiently gather the full power of a novel. By the time he's done, Mr. Wilson has mapped this place as precisely as any cartographer could.” ―The New York Times

“Powerful . . . [Wilson writes] with strength, passion (a not unmixed affection), wit, and compelling imagery . . . Will appeal to readers of Russell Banks and Daniel Woodrell.” ―Booklist

“A master of atmospheric detail.” ―Publishers Weekly

“There's no denying its raw power.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Seems to tap effortlessly into a collective subconscious.” ―The Globe and Mail

Product Details

  • File Size: 970 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (April 12, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 12, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007M8373K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,610 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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After months of reading little but heavily internalized, semi-fantastical -- magical is the preferred term, I believe -- stories and novels, Wilson's pieces came as a bracing and unexpectedly vibrant sucker punch of straight-jawed, straight-talking realism. Yet, the stories are deeply touching, even moving, as well, as they deal with broken friendships, sundered romances and marriages hanging (or not) by a thread. The stories came at the perfect moment for me, venturing as I was (in my own stuff) much more intensely into the realm of the real-world than I had for a very long time. Finding, after I'd finished the book, that this author is not even thirty came as a stunning surprise considering the breadth of his empathy and understanding for characters who teeter on the cusp of old age, which round out his lively portrayals of those his own age and younger. The fractious, yet undeniably loving relationship of the Crease father and son are the highlights of the book, especially in the opening and closing stories. In particular, Wilson's apparently depthless fount of crass, vulgar and hilarious t-shirt slogans, worn by the always-raucous Crease dad, make these pieces sing.
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