Once You Break a Knuckle: Stories

We rated this book:


“Once you break a knuckle,” says John Crease, a recurring and typical character in D.W. Wilson’s collection of award-winning stories, “you will break it again.” Not “may” break it again, not “might.” You will, definitely, break it again, in a bar fight or punching a wall or reaching for your son. John Crease and his son Will, as well as the other working-class characters of their small, harsh town in British Columbia, are as tough as they are vulnerable, as terse and as direct as John’s bit of hard-won wisdom.

The 12 stories in Once You Break a Knuckle feature hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-working electricians and plumbers and cops. These stories bristle and crackle with rebuilt cars, mud-smeared trucks that barely run, heavy guns in callused hands, cheap beer, the copper taste of blood, love and loathing between fathers and sons, and tough-as-nails women who curl into their own knees, weeping, after sex.

Readers will be reminded of Annie Proulx, Richard Ford, Ernest Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson. The comparisons are apt, but D.W. Wilson has a style all his own, an ability to layer rich details to create a collection that has the satisfying heft and depth of a novel.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury
Publish Date 2014-Jan-07
ISBN 9781608199945
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue March 2014
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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