A man is thrown out of his home after his wife discovers that the sweat-smudged footprint on the inside of his windscreen doesn’t match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily, hilariously try to reassemble themselves. His characters – marauding Vikings, washed-up entrepreneurs and jobbing hacks on local papers – are adrift from the mainstream, confused by contemporary masculinity, angry and aimless. Combining electric prose with compassion and dark wit, this is a major debut.
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