PositiveThe Chattanooga Times Free Press...Kenan\'s characters find the past rising up to meet them in even more gripping ways. They are haunted — by old romance, by actual ghosts, by knowledge, by burdens they never knew to name as such. They do not always achieve a full reckoning with these things ... Food has played a starring role in Kenan\'s previous work, and it shows up frequently and deliciously here ... While food is a constant in the book, the narratives themselves swerve and circle back masterfully through time, as if evoking the strange, circuitous pathways that memory often takes.
RaveNashville SceneThe collection opens with a delightful tale ... Present and past collide in a meaningful departure from the everyday, less bitter than sweet ... In other stories, Kenan’s characters find the past rising up to meet them in even more gripping ways ... Food has played a starring role in Kenan’s previous work, and it shows up frequently and deliciously here ... While food is a constant in the book, the narratives themselves swerve and circle back masterfully through time, as if evoking the strange, circuitous pathways that memory often takes.
RaveBookpageWhen Leonard Cohen died on November 6, 2016, he left behind the writing that had consumed him in his final years, as well as a trove of journals and drawings. Collected here, this final body of work, including lyrics from his last three albums, offers a window onto the mind of one of the 20th century’s great artists, whose songs and words have helped generations of listeners and readers articulate meaning ... Sprinkled with Cohen’s self-portrait sketches, The Flame is full of gestures so intimate it’s almost a voyeuristic experience ... In perusing the sizeable volume, one can’t help but feel privy to something raw and shining, both uncomfortably and movingly revealing, the final laying-bare of a unique chronicler of the human heart.
Lee Clay Johnson
PositiveNashville SceneCover to cover, the book exerts a fierce magnetic pull, sucking its reader into a profound desolation. I kept picking it up and sniffing it, expecting to get a strong draft of bourbon, man-sweat, blood and dirt — as of a freshly dug grave...In its setting and conflicts, Nitro Mountain belongs to the Southern gothic literary tradition, but it shares pacing and plot moves with some of the strong dramas being written for television today. It's not hard to imagine this book destined for a second life as gritty televised spectacle. In its clipped syntax, it already suggests the format of a screenplay, and many of its characters are familiar: two ex-cops who can't stay out of crime-fighting, and hard-drinking musicians who are their own best enemies. But Johnson's writing authenticates these characters, makes them irresistible in all their deeply wounded dysfunction.