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Finalist for the California Book Award in First Fiction.

Power Ballads, Boast’s debut story collection, is solid, rhythmic, and subtle.[...] In just over 150 pages, Boast manages a narrative arc that is rarely achieved across a lengthy novel, let alone a story collection. Fans of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goonsquad will enjoy Boast’s riffs on contemporary youth culture, thirtysomething life, and aging rock stars. The interweaving narratives about love and disappointment that affect every generation unify this sterling collection of moving stories.”      Booklist (starred review)

“Boast’s relaxed prose perfectly suits the ten stories in this 2011 winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award. Set mostly in the Midwest, among musicians who are affluent, indigent, and all points in-between, Boast’s narratives don’t depend on turning points. The shared experiences of his characters lend resonance to these portraits; he finds variety within these parameters, achieving a fine balance between the universal and the distinct.[…] A fresh and honest debut, and the rare collection whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”                              Publishers Weekly

“In his collection of spot-on short stories, Will Boast tears [the] veil of rock star romanticism from the lives of his working-musician characters. Boast vividly and memorably explores the curious connections music can forge – and the bonds it can sever.”      San Francisco Chronicle

“Boast writes with an ease and intelligence that recalls Tobias Wolff and Richard Ford. Like those writers, Boast makes it difficult to find fault with his work. This collection is meticulously crafted, perfectly realized, and expressed in language that rivals music in its ability to convey emotion with purity and boundless imagination.”        PopMatters (9/10) and Best Fiction of 2011

Power Ballads works as beautifully as a good album. Each character’s story is so essential, so alive, so immediate. With a line, an image, Boast’s prose acts like a long forgotten melody, and will make you remember your best day, your worst moment, that small thing you loved that was swallowed by all the other things of your life. And in the end, like the best songs do, these stories will break your heart.”    Jesmyn Ward

“The stories in Power Ballads are pitch perfect.[...] It’s a rare album that doesn’t have at least one dud tucked away on Side Two, but Power Ballads never falters, building in quiet power as it moves toward Tim’s final story. Boast moonlights as a musician in San Francisco, and I say to him, as so many musicians have been told over the years: ‘Don’t give up your day job.’”    Madison Capital Times

“Boast is immensely talented – and willing to let the opposing forces in his materials and outlook clash and resolve [...] The stories in Power Ballads [...] deliver some of the most modestly nuanced prose about music and musicians in recent memory.”     Ron Slate

“Music aficionados, meet your new favorite book.”     Hipster Book Club

“Read this book as soon as you can.”     The Lit Pub

Power Ballads is a keeper, so treat it well when you receive it. You’ll want to pull this one down from the shelf over and over again.”                                  Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Reading the stories in Power Ballads is like getting to know a new band: the lyrics and the music get to you when you feel the least prepared, and you laugh and cry and hope to find someone who laughs and cries with you. Will Boast is an exciting new voice.”   Yiyun Li

“I’m familiar with Will Boast’s writing, but I was unprepared for the powerful, cumulative effect of these related stories. There’s a bare-bones believability, increased in every direction by the author’s ability to permeate veneers and to find moments of harmony among the characters, heard very unexpectedly. Underneath the calm surface runs an undercurrent of loss and pain, a subtext never sentimentalized or easily summarized. He can really write. What an impressive book.”   Ann Beattie

“Will Boast ROCKS. Power Ballads sings and grinds and reverbs like only the truest collections do. Here’s a new young American voice for the ages.”                                                  Tom Franklin