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If the Sky Falls

LSU Press, 2005

"Remarkable stories...Montemarano's deft storytelling and ruthless honesty ensure that this collection is as dark and dazzling as a mine shaft studded with diamonds."

The New York Times Book Review

"Powerful debut collection...Montemarano handles brutality and abjection with ambiguity and subtlety while taking assured metafictional leaps."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"In If the Sky Falls Nicholas Montemarano has pulled off an impressive feat, writing a book of stories that are elegant, clear, and yet deceptively complex. Fueled by daring leaps, and a willingness to shoot straight, these stories stand out as the real thing in a literary landscape of overkill and over hype. Best of all, the entire book holds together like a good novel—the stories work together to give a complete, unified experience, one that will remain with the reader for years to come."

—David Means

"Nicholas Montemarano is one of my favorite contemporary short-story writers, and, for my money, among the best we’ve got. There’s a deep intelligence to his work, a sense of poise and control over form and structure, while at the same time the stories have a visceral urgency and emotional intensity that burrows under the skin. If the Sky Falls is a truly unforgettable collection—a book destined for the literary stratosphere."

—Dan Chaon

"Nicholas Montemarano writes a visceral, dug-in, experienced prose that stays in the mind. He will win readers and reputations with these powerful stories."

—Sven Birkerts

"Montemarano’s brutal vision is tempered—and complicated—by an aching humanity that pervades each story. There is much pain, much grief—and much dignity. He bleeds for his characters, and we do too. If the Sky Falls is a rare and exhilarating book of stories.”

—Peter Orner

"The volatile and tough-minded stories in If the Sky Falls establish Nicholas Montemarano as a remarkable storyteller with a gift for the grittily noir. A disturbing, bracing, and brutally powerful collection."

—Adrienne Miller

"Nicholas Montemarano’s superb, powerful, exacting stories drive deep and hard into the teeming center of things. This book is very fine in so many ways, but most of all it is riveting. Story after story, you will be unable to stop reading. Montemarano is a brilliant, brazen truthseeker, and his fiction is as honest and as human as it comes."


—Michael Byers