Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art.
A work of historical fiction that is as unflinching an examination of our capacity for cruelty and violence as his debut. . . Powers packs much into a relatively short work. . . there is no mistaking the intensity of his vision and his ability to conjure up scenes that stick in the mind. . . A novel that memorably illustrates not only the ways in which violence breeds further violence but also the unrelenting power of the past to shape the present.
Powers's prose is lyrical. . . his evocation of slavery-era Richmond is powerfully achieved.
'Gorgeous, devastating... As in his first novel, The Yellow Birds, Powers details these inhumane acts with elegance, restraint and a refreshing absence of sentimentality. His spare, meticulous sentences lend a perverse beauty to even the most brutal passages of the novel and give immediacy and emotional heft to the ordeals of its characters... lays bare the tremendous suffering on which our country was founded and demands its acknowledgment. But Powers also offers love and grace in these pages, and a prayer for redemption.
An American Civil War epic [which] confirms Powers as a significant talent.
Possesses the same intimate, lyrical power as his haunting debut . . . This is a fine, relevant novel from a notable author.
A stunning achievement - visceral [and] poignant.
The writing is beautiful and powerful. A Shout in the Ruins is confirmation, if it were needed, that Kevin Powers is a writer of rare talent.
A masterpiece. Powers has written a novel that includes all the ferocity, complexity, and racial violence of the American South, from its fall to its eventual rebirth.
A wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies.
A daring voyage into and out of the darkest era in American history.
Powers has written a compassionate, poetic evocation of war and its legacy which has already been hailed as a classic of its genre.
One of the chief rewards of this novel is that it speaks very much to the present through the generational interplay of its characters . . . It is told subtly and with great empathy: Powers once again demonstrates the precise eye for imagery and detail that is becoming the hallmark of his work.
Ranging across time and following several characters whose lives become entangled by chance, family connection and conflict, Powers returns here - with similar, admirable compression - to themes he took up in his celebrated debut, The Yellow Birds . . . A Shout in the Ruins illuminates an entire lost era.
PRAISE FOR THE YELLOW BIRDS: Extraordinary . . . beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order . . . a must-read book.
Contains moments that burn.
Harrowing, inexplicably beautiful, and utterly, urgently necessary.
Kevin Powers has seamlessly woven nineteenth and twentieth century lives to create a novel that resonates out of the past to address the most timely issues of America in our own century. The same striking language and contemplation of war and its aftermath that made The Yellow Birds such a lauded debut is on full display in A Shout in the Ruins. What an impressive novel.
Written with an intensity which is deeply compelling.
This second novel, set in Powers's hometown of Richmond, VA, probes the grip of traumatic memory in the aftermath of the Civil War . . . A masterly meditation on our unbreakable connection to a world predicated on cyclical violence.
Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth.
A masterpiece . . . a classic.
This is a novel I've been waiting for. The Yellow Birds is born from experience and rendered with compassion and intelligence. All of us owe Kevin Powers our heartfelt gratitude.
Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual.
This troubling, stirring book is informed by Mr Powers's deep understanding of war's complexities, and of how people are broken and shaped by it.
With a complex structure reminiscent of Faulkner, Powers adroitly weaves his narrative threads together with subtle connections that reinforce his themes of longing for coherence and the continuing effect of the past on the present. An impressive novel of slavery, destruction, and the arduous difficulties of love.
Suitably unvarnished, but not without moments of beauty or deep emotion. A Shout in the Ruins brushes aside myth and romanticism for a clear-eyed look at America.
Nothing escapes the author's fanatical analysis and the observations are often startling and true
A harrowing and lyrical epic in miniature, Powers has written a novel excavated from another time, but which speaks profoundly to this one.