Short Fiction Review: You Know When the Men Are Gone

In honor of Memorial Day: You Know When the Men are Gone

*****5/5 stars

41zvHLY+JhL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_When you read all in one sitting and get hit in the gut, right where you live, you give it five stars.

Recommended readers:

  • If you are a reader of short stories,
  • if you are in any way connected with the military,
  • and if you haven’t given your military and its wars much thought, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 5/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 5/5 overall


While I don’t pick them up nearly as often as I ought, I have always enjoyed short stories: the all-to-brief glimpse into somewhere else; that vague feeling of unease and dissastifaction that comes with but a hint, or even a lack, of resolution. In You Know When the Men are Gone, Siobhan Fallon gives insight into the experience of soldiers and their families at war:  men and women, officers and enlisted, in Iraq and at home. Set in Fort Hood, Texas,  this series of interconnected short stories weaves together  the small details of  lives at war– separation and return, strained relationships, fear, loneliness and more– in a manner salient, spare, and devastating. It’s spot on, raw, edgy truth laid out in fiction, and goes onto my required reading list.

Available now on Amazon



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