Review of a new book by Len Joy,
Everyone Dies Famous
Len Joy was one of my old online friends from a a workshop called the Flash Factory. Even then you could see his writing had a way of getting his imaginary people and places under your skin.
From the start, it was hard to pull away from this story of an unlikely friendship between an old man and a soldier, each suffering from his own sorrow.
Len’s tornado in his prologue introduces you to a small town in Missouri and its characters. You get a tour from one wrecked home to another. It hurts, but Len holds your hand and opens your eyes. In the end you are glad to have stuck it out.
Len describes the scene and tells his story, and without warning throws you a line of prose that makes you cry, like the one about the mother who says she is coming and leaves her kid waiting in a seedy diner.
She never comes.
The story unfolds in Len Joy’s fine-honed storytelling process with startling sensory descriptions and fragments of conversation, letting you experience the lives of people you thought you knew and now realize you did not.
You get this strong buildup of tension that hurts, and it won’t stop until you see what happens to these people, because Len makes you love them.
Len Joy is a writer with a heart. Learn something from him.