"This is a strong, spare, sad and beautiful novel, exactly what Hemingway would write, I think, if he'd lived through the kind of war we make now. Bausch's style recalls Hemingway, but everything else in the world has changed; among other things, the world has become subtly, tragically religious: God and salvation exist for certain, but no one can quite remember where."
--John Gardner, author of "October Light and "On Moral Fiction."
"This first novel has a jittery, dangerous feeling to it...It's not just the pain of a Vietnam vet that makes the story compelling. Robert Bausch uses Michael's homecoming to expose the discord and pain of family life as well...Strong and sure as Bausch's tale is, it gets only stronger at the end."
"What might have been another 'coming home' story is instead a brilliant psychological study...Bausch's expertly paced narrative and sharply defined but entirely unexceptional characters remind one of James Purdy at his best. Bausch surpasses Purdy, though, in telling without gimmicks or grotesqueries an extraordinary and compelling story that interprets and illuminates an era."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"The Bausch style is as clean and firm as a new butcher block."
--The Los Angeles Times
"It's some book. If Bausch never wrote another, this one could constitute a career's achievement. He writes with the care and know-how of one who could do it again."
--The Virginia Pilot
"The power of Bausch's writing is haunting; there can have been few other first novels written in the past decade to compare to his."
--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Photo by Greg Lipscomb
Photo by Matt Briggs