Praise for Stephen Stark

(Also known as the What-a-Great-Shit-Am-I-Page)

The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door

“This blurb can’t capture my admiration, or how entertaining, thought-provoking, and beautiful I found The Final Appearance of America’s Girl Next Door. It is like no novel you’ve read.  At the same time it is an extended and leisurely meditation on all things related to the human condition, it is a roller-coaster of psychological suspense.  Ellen Gregory and her fellow-characters are so alive as to seem uncanny, and yet larger than life.  This novel is full of realism and archetypal resonance.  The writing, in is precision, is poetic and casual at once.  “It’s a flashy business compiling algorithms.”  Stephen Stark has as much in common, as a writer, with Cormac McCarthy as he does with James Ellroy. The result is a novel that is at once a page-turner and an echoing chamber.”

—Laura Kasischke, award-winning poet and author of The Life Before Her Eyes, Be Mine, and Suspicious River.


Praise for Second Son:

“Second Son is a marvelous kaleidoscope of a book. It reminded me of Larry Woiwode’s Beyond the Bedroom Wall—it has that much power and beauty and pain; that much clear-eyed insight into what it’s like to be a boy who’s lost a beloved mother and been raised by a muddled but decent-souled father. It’s lyrical, it’s brilliant, and the best thing I have read in years.”

—Andrea Barrett, author of the National Book Award-winningShip Fever: Stories, Servants of the Map: Stories, and Voyage of the Narwhal

“Second Son is a brutal and beautiful portrait of a father and son trembling on the terrible brink of betrayal and reconciliation. Stephen Stark shows us love’s power to restore and to ruin, and he shows us as well the need for both to occur before we can see who we are. A harrowing and wonderful book.”

—Bret Lott, author of Jewel
, an Oprah Book Club selection

“I love the way Stephen Stark writes-fearlessly, and with uncommon wisdom and heart. This is a scary and beautiful book.”

—Hilma Wolitzer, author of Summer Reading, and other novels

“This is strong stuff and it kept me up until I turned the last page at 4 A.M. Stephen Stark writes with plenty of power and grace. I love all his people, even the bad guys, simply because he makes them real.”

—Larry Brown, author of Joe, Big Bad Love, and Dirty Work


“Second Son has all the intensity one could hope for in a novel about the searing responsibilities of a father-son relationship. Stephen Stark is a born storyteller, and his novel not only took me by surprise: it took my head off. There is enough material here for a lifetime of dreaming.”

— Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and many other books

“Stark’s characters are so well realized, and his vision of their lives probed so deeply, that their slightest motion can set off a powerful resonance…. One of the most gripping reads of the year.”

-Houston Press

“… Stark angrily explodes stereotypes of men as violent or unfeeling or inconstant. His women, too, come perfectly alive. Stark is passionate, lyrical, even funny.”

Kirkus Reviews

“… The sustained elegaic tone is a powerful magnet that holds the reader to the page.”

–      Publishers Weekly

“ ’Second Son’ is a loving, beautiful, melancholy novel about growing up in death’s shadow, with no reasonable hope of happiness, and how, with luck, happiness may surprise us by its unreasonable and unexpected appearance.”


– Carolyn See


“It is hard to forget Stephen Stark’s family portrait – what’s left of a family – because it is drawn with such emotional honesty.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch


“…At times, the book is so correct, it’s scary. Stark manipulates his double narrative and its complex time scheme with a craftsman’s touch, creating a supple text that never hampers the story’s momentum…. Second Son is quality work, done with skill and imagination, a credit to the laborer.”

The Houston Chronicle


Praise for The Outskirts


“Stephen Stark is a brave, brave and beautiful, writer, not shy to handle primitive tension, dangerous desire. The Outskirts is, at last, a brutally honest book about modern alienation, casting aside the non-values of the Brat Pack for the abiding myths of youth —because the adult world is a world the young must truly resist.”

—Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands

“Stephen Stark handles the elements of his story with great economy and skill, and whie he explores these matters of innocence and experience, he breathes a suspenseful, edgy into the prose, a hint of violence, of disaster, and he keeps us reading on.”

— Richard Bausch, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Stark writes with genuine internal rhythm. The tempo is hurried and hungry…. And in the end, most readers will be filled with approval like that fron a good meal. Not too sated. Ready for more from Stark, somewhere, sometime soon.”

Grand Rapids Press

Tell me what you think. Seriously.