Check out what Marilynne Robinson,
Mitch Wieland, Pinckney Benedict,
Gregory Wolfe, and Shann Ray
have to say about Ryan's book:
"[Blacketter] has a marvelous eye for the emotional textures of the most commonplace experience, the kind that familiarity makes almost subliminal."
--Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead and winner of the Pulitzer
"A strange, haunting journey across the shadowy landscape of grief and longing. To our good fortune, Ryan Blacketter is a heroic guide into this exploration of the mysterious workings of the human heart. Down in the River will grip you by the collar and not let go. This is a brave first novel from a writer to be watched."
--Mitch Wieland, author of Willy Slater's Lane and God's Dogs
"I can't remember when I've liked a character as much as I've liked young Lyle Rettew, or when I've cheered one on so hard, despite the fact that he's clearly crazy and his quest is doomed. A thunderous debut, and the beginning of what will surely be a breathtaking career."
--Pinckney Benedict, author of Town Smokes and Miracle Boy
"Some readers won't be able to see past the darkness in Blacketter's novel, but it is in fact shot through with an aching compassion."
--Gregory Wolfe, author of Beauty Will Save the World
"Blacketter's prose is paired with the torque of a plot that lives and moves like an indomitable engine. This difficult and necessary story is inbreathed with a ferocity that leaves the reader shaken. In the end, through Blacketter's sure hand, we encounter a surprisingly intimate brush with our own desire for peace of the soul, and in so doing, are drawn toward the ineffable mystery of how our contact with others inevitably carries with it a sense of infinite gravity."
--Shann Ray, author of American Masculine and winner of the American Book Award
To read Blacketter's Slant Interview and to learn more about the novel