Moon Up, Past Full by Eric Shonkwiler

Fresh off the heels of his well received novel Above All Men, author Eric Shonkwiler presents a collection of short stories titled Moon Up, Past Full. I was made aware of Shonkwiler by Lori at The Next Best Book Club on GoodReads. The club hosts a monthly author/reader discussion in which several copies of a work are provided to readers and the author joins in the dialogue about that book. It has been a great source of discovery for new books, a great place for intelligent discussion, and an overall melting pot of diverse ideas. As soon as I read the description of Shonkwiler's collection, I knew I wanted to be a part of this discussion.

My favorite story from the collection, Rural Tendencies, chronicles one man's descent into a drug-filled life of crime and lust. I was completely drawn to the tragic way that the main character's one night of snorting lines at a party evolved into cooking meth in his basement and having an affair with a drug dealer's girlfriend. Shonkwiler's unflinching honesty and crisp words gave a depth and reality to this story and really captured the harsh lifestyle of a drug dealer.

Beyond that selection, Moon Up, Past Full contains other unique stories and novellas that are all connected by the Midwest setting that Shonkwiler depicts through his powerful prose. His writing has been compared to that of Cormac McCarthy, a comparison that both speaks to his undeniable skill with the written word and one that gives you an idea of the kind of stories that he excels at. Like McCarthy, Shonkwiler eschews the use of quotation marks and keeps his text clear and easy to read. More importantly, he writes stories about everyday people dealing with their own personal crisis. Whether it is a young lady dealing with noises in her head or the more pressing end of times, Shonkwiler masterfully writes stories that jump from the page and are an absolute joy to read.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, or GoodReads.

(2016, 3)

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 23, 2016 and is filed under ,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Moon Up, Past Full by Eric Shonkwiler”

  1. Seems like this was a pretty great short story collection that slowly managed to draw you in to the rest of the stories. I especially think your favourite one, while having a darkness to it must be intriguing to read.


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