Chaon has created another of those twilight realms of which he is an indisputable master. The book’s characters plumb the depths of deception and surpass all established measures of instability and dysfunction... If the definition of eeriness is indeed ‘strange, suspicious, and unnatural,’ the definers of the genre (Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, etc.) have a worthy heir in Dan Chaon.
The powerful writing in this intense and suspenseful collection draws us into the emotional maelstroms experienced by the characters. A highly recommended work, not to be missed.
Powerful . . . A writer to savor . . . Dan Chaon shows a marked affinity in both setting and sensibility with fellow Midwesterners Wright Morris and Willa Cather.
Stunning . . . Chaon succeeds in both creating suspense and making it pay off, but Await Your Reply also does something even better. Like the finest of his storytelling heroes, Mr. Chaon manages to bridge the gap between literary and pulp fiction with a clever, insinuating book equally satisfying to fans of either genre.
Intensely readable . . . In this creepy yet fascinating work, with a bleak Ohio wintery landscape as backdrop, Chaon creates a world of tragedy, disease, and drug abuse right out of today’s news and makes it real while keeping readers guessing on many levels.
With this arresting collection, Chaon again demonstrates his mastery of the short story… Chaon brings readers fantastically close, slowly drawing them into the anxiety or loneliness or remorse of his characters, and building great anticipation for the twists to come.
One of those writers who possess an uncanny and seemingly otherwordly understanding of the human condition . . . Chaon [is] a remarkable chronicler of very American kind of sadness, much in the tradition of Richard Yates, Raymond Carver, and Denis Johnson. . . . These stories are to be savored.
Remarkable . . . weaves threads into a whole that is not only satisfying but devastating.
A dark genre-bending thriller . . . Chaon has mastered multiple psychologically complex and often fearsome characters. A shadowy narrative that’s carried well by the author’s command and insight.
A riveting thriller, chock-full of plot twists, and a sober meditation on the erosion of identity in the age of technology . . . There’s a bristling momentum that develops, as in any great tale of suspense. . . . [Chaon] writes with an eloquence rarely seen in the world of page-turners.
Unforgettable . . . hums with life and wry humor . . . The stories sneak resolutely up on you, like new weather that hits before you know it.
For this exceptional and emotionally wrenching novel, Chaon plants the seeds of new manias into the hard, unforgiving ground that will be familiar to his readers… With impressive skill, across multiple narratives that twine, fracture, and rest, Chaon expertly realizes his singular vision of American Dread.
Extraordinary . . . renews my faith in the unique capacity of literature to help us understand and ultimately respect ourselves and the strange, baffling, complex figures we all can be.