I know I’ve already mentioned Jersey Devil Press’s forthcoming story collection by Ryan Werner, but it bears repeating, which is why Ryan is blogging about it every day this month leading up to the release of Shake Away These Constant Days. If you aren’t reading those posts — well, maybe that’s okay, because then you’ll come to the collection fresh without all the backstory Ryan is (bravely) sharing over at his blog. But get to those posts eventually, because it’s pretty good reading, even for me, a guy who’s read most of these stories in most of their drafts and revisions over the years. I’m always fascinated by a writer’s process, and knowing the writer — and the process — as well as I know Ryan doesn’t diminish that fascination one bit.
But in the meantime, if you’re hankering for a teaser but don’t want any spoilers, check out the very first pre-release review, up at Curbside Splender. It’s good, honest praise without being all saccharine and sycophantic:
Each story is short and powerful, complete with terse and refined prose that are quick like a boxer’s jab. But, to be fair, these stories are almost too short; and, coupled with the quantity of stories included, it’s easy for them to melt together, especially if you find yourself reading from cover to cover.
That being said: Werner’s collection still manages to maintain a cohesive unity throughout, like that one song you play on repeat and can’t seem to get out of your head.
Or, if you just want to get into the fiction and judge for yourself, go hit Jersey Devil Press, where we have a four-story preview up for your free perusal. And it starts with my favorite story Ryan’s ever written — and one of my favorites ever — “Back and to the Left.” Seriously, go read that thing. And then buy the book.