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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Everyone Dies Famous by Len Joy is a work of literary fiction. It is July 2003, Maple Springs in Missouri. All around them, storms and tornadoes batter America and now one is aimed straight at their little town. Dancer Stonemason is a stubborn old fool. He lost his son, Clayton, in a car accident and his house has been sold. Forced to move in with his other son, Jim, he needs to clear the jukeboxes he and Clayton restored. Getting together with Wayne, a soldier separated from his wife, he delivers the jukeboxes to Ted Landis. A month-long drought is about to break in spectacular fashion and, as the storm approaches, Dancer decides that old scores need to be settled and Wayne discovers his wife’s affair – the only thing on his mind is revenge. As the storm barrels through the town, destroying everything in its wake, only one of them will survive.
Everyone Dies Famous by Len Joy was a riveting tale. Written in a kind of diary format, like a real-life story, it starts off after the storm and then goes back in time. A story written from the heart, it follows the lives of some very ordinary people, the way they live, their life choices, the way they die and, in places, it really does tug at the heartstrings. There are several stories here, different people whose lives are bound together in one way or another, and they all converge at one terrifying point in life. The characters were really well written, very different people, unlikely friends and allies, and although their lives are nothing short of normal, it doesn’t take long until you become invested in those lives, taking sides and hoping for the best in the worst circumstances. There’s plenty of action but it isn’t written like a thriller, more a peek at daily life, and it is enthralling reading. I really like Len Joy’s work and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to escape from their own world for a bit.