This is the book that in hardcover won unanimous praise from reviewers, who called it "beautiful and transcendent" (The Boston Globe
), a book that "measures the arc of a culture's mortality in small, personal increments" (Star Tribune
, Minneapolis), is written "in a poker-faced style that always seems on the verge of exploding into manic laughter or howls of pain" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
They're right. Tony Earley is a writer so good at his craft that you don't read his words so much as inhale them. His first book of nonfiction is one of those unexpected classics, like Ann Lamott's Traveling Mercies, in which a great writer rips open his/her heart and takes the reader inside for a no-holds-barred tour.
In a prose style that is deceptively simple, Earley confronts the big things-God, death, civilization, family, his own clinical depression-with wit and grace, without looking away or smirking.