Volt by Alan Heathcock
Stories

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

A blistering collection of stories from an exhilarating new voice
One man kills another after neither will move his pickup truck from the road. A female sheriff in a flooded town attempts to cover up a murder. When a farmer harvesting a field accidentally runs over his son, his grief sets him off walking, mile after mile. A band of teens bent on destruction runs amok in a deserted town at night. As these men and women lash out at the inscrutable churn of the world around them, they find a grim measure of peace in their solitude.

Throughout Volt, Alan Heathcock’s stark realism is leavened by a lyric energy that matches the brutality of the surface. And as you move through the wind-lashed landscape of these stories, faint signs of hope appear underfoot. In Volt, the work of a writer who’s hell-bent on wrenching out whatever beauty this savage world has to offer, Heathcock’s tales of lives set afire light up the sky like signal flares touched off in a moment of desperation.
 

About Alan Heathcock

See more books from this Author
ALAN HEATHCOCK's work has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Mystery Stories, among other places. He is the winner of a National Magazine Award in fiction.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by Graywolf Press. 223 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Volt

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Raw and rugged, the stories in Heathcock's collection push up against the sharp edge of a world where people live and die, and find any redemption hard-won and sometimes bittersweet.

| Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Nor is she afraid to take the law into her own hands if she thinks it will relieve distress — as when, in “The Peacekeeper,” she methodically executes a hermit who has tortured and murdered a young girl, even though she knows that “those in town, and especially those from outside Krafton, might n...

Mar 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In "Smoke," the sins of the father visit 15-year-old Vernon when his war vet father drags him out of bed to cremate the man he's killed.

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

"Now help me up and keep quiet."At fifteen, Vernon was already taller and broader than his father.He reached around his father's waist, as if hugging a tree, and lifted."No, no," his father groaned, and slumped to one side, and Vernon knew he'd tugged the stitches on his shoulder.

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

Amid these crises, a green sheriff must earn her tin star and a town must learn to support her.These are just two examples of the gothic-tinged tales in Volt: Stories, a starkly elegant short story collection by newcomer Alan Heathcock.

Mar 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

Precise, gritty and brilliant, these linked short stories are mired in murder but laced with hope.

Mar 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Washington Independent Review of Books

Her persistent failure to follow the law seems to have no consequences – except for her own sense of hopelessness and – understandably – overwhelming fatigue.

| Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Chicago Tribune

Eight stories, by native Chicagoan Alan Heathcock, who lives and works in Idaho, where he seems to have found in that mostly rural state great inspiration in the pathetic and maniacal denizens of small towns around him - or in memories of rural Illinois, also, perhaps: several of these stories ce...

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Spinetingler Magazine

He is the author of the short story collection The Chaos We Know (SnubNose Press)and Co-Editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift.(New Pulp Press) He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

Aug 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Time Out Chicago

The opening line of Heathcock’s story “Peacekeeper” reads: “Spring 2008: There were more direct routes to the Odd Fellows Hall, on a dry knob north of town, but Helen Farraley could not see below the muddy floodwater, couldn’t risk wrecking the boat on a tree or chimney or telephone pole.” It per...

Mar 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

Each week Fiction Writers Review gives away several free copies of a featured novel or story collection as part of our Book-of-the-Week program.

Mar 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

My big mouth got me into a tiny amount of literary hot water recently by saying that the invention of the story collection might be the worst thing to ever happen to the short story.

Mar 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

The Nervous Breakdown

Vernon surveyed the sparkling land, playing in his mind the knobs beyond the mill, naming who lived on what road, knowing them by their fields, by their barns and kitchens and drawing rooms, knowing kids from parents, aunts from cousins, naming them each by their pains and praises.” It can be...

Apr 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

The Kenyon Review

Consider how he introduces two of Krafton’s minor characters in “The Staying Freight”: “An old man in an orange parka, Marshall Traverson, stood beneath the diner’s canopy and opened an umbrella over his wife, Leta.” The discovery of image moves this way: from the idea of an old man to the idea o...

| Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

High Country News

A good story has the power to divert us from our struggles as well as to help us understand them.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Volt: Stories

Reader Rating for Volt
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 47 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×