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Library of Virginia Honor Book

Falco’s prose is tense, sharp, and beautifully, wonderfully rich. In story after story, his characters find the comfortable order of their lives ambushed by an upswelling of dark forces beyond their control. In order to protect the lives of family, lovers, wives, and especially children from a catastrophe, they often must summon up the personal courage to climb back from their own monsters, to set aside old, private scars. The decisions they make reveal their bonds, the set of their hearts, and the harsh nature of the culture we all live in today.

If someone out there could write the contemporary counterpart to Flannery O’Conoor’s classic “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” it would be Falco. His are good, old-fashioned, hard-to-find stories set way out there on the edge.

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Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha

 As one might surmise from Falco's titles, he is an original and vivid writer. In this  outstanding collection, Falco excels at depicting the darkness that lurks within, yet he addresses this gritty reality with a soaring lyricism.

 

          ––Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

His fans will relish this collection. Readers unfamiliar with his work…will remember Edward Falco's name from now on…His prose is alternately haunting and tender, comforting and disturbing. Edward Falco's writing beautifully explores the lights and shadows of human existence.

 

          —Midwest Book Review

Compelling…Falco shows a deft touch at keeping his characters empathetic while maintaining their occasionally disturbing flaws.

 

          —Kevin Greczek, Library Journal

 

What is truly imaginative in these characters is the sense of vulnerability, like a fine patina, over the coarseness of their exteriors. These are real men and women who grapple with a stark reality that often reveals the complexity of existing in a world fraught with danger—frequently a danger welling from within. . . . Perhaps this is Falco’s greatest strength as a writer, his ability to refract the edgy depths of doubt, fear, and rage so that the reader finds herself saying, “Yes, that’s how it is. That could be me.”

 

          —Jen Henderson in New Pages

 

 

Precarious and dramatic, filled with dynamic characters who are challenged by intense situations, Edward Falco's stories haunt a reader's mind long after he or she closes the book. Falco crafts character and setting with such skill that otherwise unbelievable events ring true and live beyond the pages of his fiction. . . . a collection that cannot be ignored. Edward Falco writes with passion and honesty, chipping away at all forces dark, violent, and profound.

 

          ––Alexis Czenca, The Hollins Critic

 

Edward Falco, in his collection of short stories, Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha: New and Selected Stories, stylistically recalls the grotesque of Flannery O'Connor, the economy of diction of Ernest Hemingway, and the 'Dirty Realism' of Raymond Carver, with stories that hauntingly expose the grit and challenge of the everyman and everywoman -- characters who are us at the most primal of levels, but who are, too, the freakish darker parts of we who would only imagine doing or enduring what his characters endure and do.

 

          ––Magill Book Reviews

 

 

Falco brings a remarkably tender voice to a distinctly male collection of stories.

 

          ––Mary Mullins, Richmond Style Weekly

 

One of those rare short story collection that you read straight through, rarely even setting the book down.

 

          ––Dan Wickett, Emerging Writers Network

 

Falco is a master of hooking the reader into the story with a tantalizing first sentence: "First, a teenage girl flashed me at a Marilyn Manson concert." "Couple of years ago, Connie came home from work to find Doug, her second husband, swaying in nine feet of water like an aquatic Frankenstein, cement-filled milk jugs tied to his ankles...". To paraphrase the old potato chip commercial, I'll bet you can't read just one. Four stars for this collection.

 

          ––Luan Gaines, Curled Up with a Good Book

 

Falco's stories have authority, unhurried pacing and a quiet confidence that I admire. These are male stories—some are men behaving badly, while others are men trying to escape the past and find a place for themselves in the world. Boys and men, all. But within this sphere, Falco is at the top of his game, delivering fine clear writing and a masterful understanding of short fiction.

 

          ––The Happy Booker

 

Long after the book is finished, these people stay with the reader, haunting, making the reader uncomfortable by suggesting that all people are represented here. What more can you ask of a writer than that?

 

          ––Amy C. Rea, New Century Reading  

[Falco] draws the attention of a highly literate audience through his graceful use of language…[and] provides any reader with both compelling plots and engrossing characters.

 

          —Beth Wellington, The Roanoke Times

 

The press release accompanying this book of short stories states that Edward Falco has been quietly establishing himself as master storyteller for years. His stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly and Playboy as well as prestigious anthologies. His fans will relish this collection. Readers unfamiliar with his work, like me, will remember Edward Falco's name from now on.

Each one of the sixteen stories in this collection is distinct. Falco gives us mysteries, unexpected salvations or revelations, and forces us to examine the sacred and profane with fresh eyes. His plots are gripping, woven from threads familiar to us all: dysfuntional families that somehow work; people who wear their human vulnerabilities like a badge of honor as they flounder; lives derailed or hopelessly wrecked by choice or circumstance; hapless mortals forced to deal with the unthinkable and horrible; and unacceptable but inevitable compromises made amidst chaos. Characters vary, from peaceful people just trying to survive, to teenagers struggling to find their own identity, to dangerous or pathetic human animals at heart. Regardless of the milieu in which the author places them, each character is solid and memorable.

Falco reveals the rage and fear that often trembles hidden at our core. His prose is alternately haunting and tender, comforting, and disturbing. Edward Falco's writing beautifully explores the lights and shadows of human existence.

 

          --Laurel Johnson on Amazon

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