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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2018
  • 9781732760806
  • 314 pages
  • $14.99
Tony Gentry
Author
The Coal Tower
Tony Gentry, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

It’s Game Day at the University of Virginia, launching a new school year, when Charlottesville fills to bursting with incoming students, football fans and alumni. Famed neurosurgeon Rainsworth Cannon and his equestrienne wife, their goth teenaged daughter and her train-hopping boyfriend, a cop and his wayward brother, all have been living for this day. But they cannot imagine how at its end their lives will be changed and forever entwined by what goes down at the Coal Tower.
Reviews
Gentry’s richly observed debut novel (after a series of biographies for young readers) traces the intersection of two separate worlds in Charlottesville, Va., on a late summer day. Mattie Mosby is the local police officer. His mentally ill brother, Sid, lives with Mattie but spends his days in a homeless encampment or in the attic of a huge abandoned coal tower. Chloe Cannon, 16, has partied with friends in the lower section of the tower, while her mother, Iris, and father, the bombastic neurosurgeon Rainsworth Cannon, are preoccupied with preparations for entertaining guests at their house during an upcoming film festival. Chloe is also obsessing over a fling the previous spring with Lucas, a young starving musician who now makes his way back to her from South Carolina by hopping coal trains. Tension vibrates through each of these threads—whether it’s Rainsworth’s stress levels or Sid’s strange new quest to gather guns—until everyone is caught up in a tragedy at the tower. Dynamic prose shows Gentry swinging for the fences, and occasionally he connects. The sprint through the minds and actions of this intriguing mix of people will grab hold of readers’ attention until the startling, unsettling conclusion. Gentry succeeds with a memorable portrait of a college town and its disparate worlds. (Self-published)
Katy Munger, author of 15 mystery novels

The Coal Tower has it all: colorful characters, rapid pacing, dark humor, and an unexpectedly moving story. The author has a fond eye for the eccentricities of people, imbuing his debut novel with a basic love for humanity that makes reading it a joy.

Paul Witcover, author of The Watchman of Eternity and others

“Like some mutant love child of Cormac McCarthy and John Kennedy Toole, The Coal Tower casts a poignant, provocative, and at times hilarious light on the fractured American landscape of today. Tony Gentry’s remarkable debut signals the arrival of an incandescent new voice.”

Randy Fertel, author of A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation

Piling layer upon layer of life lived on game day Charlottesville-style, Tony Gentry in his debut novel brilliantly weaves multiple plot lines bent toward an uncertain and unexpected catastrophe. Displaying equal parts gusto for language and love of his singular characters, The Coal Tower brings to mind two masterpieces of the last century, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Joyce Cary’s The Horse’s Mouth.

Rosemary Rawlins, author of Learning by Accident

When people say that books take you places you've never been, they're talking about The Coal TowerThe Coal Tower comes to life on the page through rich and diverse characters throbbing with hopes and dreams (and a few barely struggling through) whose lives intersect on a pivotal day, Game Day in Charlottesville, VA. Gentry skillfully paints a town through several uniquely personal lenses, all players in a landscape imbued with academics, racism, and social climbing--a tumbleweed of connections that weave a story ripe with relationships that stretch and snap with love, resentment, loyalty, and betrayal. The story builds and builds. The writing is beyond imaginative and beautiful. Many stories reveal the thoughts of characters, but somehow, Gentry infuses those thoughts with a level of detail rarely seen in literature. From famed neurosurgeon Dr. Cannon, to his wife Iris, to Chloe and Lucas, Sid and Mattie, this story reveals with laser clarity the way we all see ourselves and our place in life—how we determine what we have earned and what is owed to us, what we value, and what we figure out along the way, and how sometimes, we are wrong about all of it.  And the ending! Wow. I want more.

News
08/21/2019
Book Reading

Tony Gentry will be reading from his debut novel The Coal Tower at New Dominion Book Shop on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, VA, at 7 pm.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2018
  • 9781732760806
  • 314 pages
  • $14.99

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