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Something Pretty, Something Beautiful | Trailer | Shimmer: A novel | Short Stories

Something Pretty, Something Beautiful

a new novel from Eric Barnes

"Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written...
the most harrowing portrait of American boys careening into manhood that I've ever read. And the truest." - Benjamin Whitmer


“[A] remarkable book. … This is a world where the pull of friendship is far stronger than the pull of family, where cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts.” - Emily St. John Mandel, The Millions

“The new novel chronicles in stark, effective prose a boy’s tragic discoveries about how friendship works.” - Peggy Burch, The Commercial Appeal

“Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written…. The most harrowing portrait of American boys careening into manhood that I’ve ever read.” - Benjamin Whitmer, Satan Is Real

“…the book’s  impressionistic, running narrative, the immediacy and matter-of-factness of its full-throttle prose.” - Leonard Gill, The Flyer

“[A] disturbing but finely and passionately wrought novel.” - Rebecca Oppenheimer

“[A] very gritty look at the dark side of temptation and how slow a decline can be." - Tia Bach

"[S]pare and to the point ... a startlingly frank story ... this will touch you." - Drey's Library

"[A] masterfully crafted story about friendship and growing up." - Respiring Thoughts

"A fascinatingly dark read. I highly recommend it." - The Book Wheel

"[An] intensely dark saga.... Barnes plays with time in a way that makes us uncertain what we know." - Conceptual Reception

About Something Pretty, Something Beautiful

In Tacoma, a circle of friends finds their leader in Will Wilson. Together, they drink, they get high, they take girls to the woods -- but Will Wilson keeps pushing toward darker extremes.

As the descent gets steeper, there is a way out: Another friend’s fishing boat off the coast of Alaska. There is life after Tacoma.

But the choice has to be made. And some friendships feel more than inevitable.

Something Pretty, Something Beautiful is a novel about bare and common violence. About the simple horrors taking place in the house that's down the street. The house along the road you drive past every day.

It’s about cars moving fast along streets lit white and gray. It’s about the crashing screams of a rollercoaster echoing out from the county fair.

Yet Something Pretty, Something Beautiful is also about quiet days in a small boat
out on Puget Sound. Quiet days working hard in a fish plant in Alaska.

And it’s about the sadness of how to make those lives finally connect.

More: Trailer | Full Cover | Published by Outpost19

Related Short Stories

Something Pretty, Something Beautiful includes, in altered form,
portions of a number of short stories:

All I Can See, Other Voices, Vol. 25
And We Would Drive, The Northwest Review, Vol. 45, No. 2
Anything More, Tampa Review, Vol. 42
Friday Afternoon, Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly
Grouse Country, Stymie Magazine
The Huts, The Greensboro Review, No. 62
Something Pretty, Something Beautiful, Prairie Schooner, Vol. 84, No. 4 and
Best American Mysteries 2011
Stories About Them, Crazyhorse, No. 55
Swimming, The Portland Review, Vol. 54, No. 2
Toward the Sky, Pacific Review

Something Pretty Something Beautiful, a novel, published by Outpost19


Something Pretty, Something Beautiful