Wells Tower, "Retreat"

Alan visits his brother in the wilds of Maine.

(from McSweeney’s #23)

Matthew steered the truck through a narrowing vasculature of country roads that wound into high-altitude boondocks, past trailer homes and cedar-shake cottages with reliquaries of derelict appliances and discarded automotive organs in their yards.

Awesome. This story runs like a classic car, smooth, finely tuned, familiar curves, real muscle under a shiny coat. The characters, all three of them, are more easily known than understood, sometimes saying things that are surprising but exactly right. The mysterious Mr. Tower remains one of my favorite writers, but I don’t want to give the impression that you’re conscious of the writer when you’re reading it. The story is beautifully told, but so gently guided as feel organic, free range, true.
Truer than most, at least.

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