All the Ruined Men: Stories, by Bill Glose

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Author Letter

Discussion Guide

Events & Readings

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Bill's Home Page


Lit Hub article: Bill Glose on Drawing from Real Life

The History Reader article: The Aftereffects of War

Art & Humanities Blog: Inside the Emotion of Fiction

The History Shelf video review

Fall for the Book Podcast

Artemis Speaks Podcast

Publisher's Weekly gives All the Ruined Men a Starred Review

Library Journal gives All the Ruined Men a Starred Review

Kirkus gives All the Ruined Men a Starred Review

The Christian Science Monitor names All the Ruined Men as one of the Ten Best Books of August

For Men Torn Down by War, Getting Back Up is a Battle Worthy of Hope

Amazon lists All the Ruined Men as one of the "Best books of the month" for August, 2022

All the Ruined Men named one of the Most Anticipated Books of the Second Half of 2022

Watch the video of The Book Launch at The Muse Writers Center

Watch a Video Interview for the Robert Bausch Fiction Award (Bill appears from 1:40 to 5:00)

Read a Bill Glose essay on the cathartic power of writing about trauma, published in Narrative Magazine

About All the Ruined Men

Uniting his own combat experience with those of other veterans, Bill Glose examines the long-lasting effects of battle and the injuries that are often invisible to the naked eye. All the Ruined Men shows veterans struggling for normalcy as they grapple with flashbacks, injuries (both physical and psychological), damaged relationships, loss of faith, and loss of memory.

Beginning in 2003, All the Ruined Men spans ten years, from the confident beginning of America’s “forever war” to the confusion and disillusionment that followed.

As a former paratrooper and Gulf War veteran, Bill Glose is closely bound to these stories, which present a cast of complex and sympathetic characters: young men who embraced what seemed a war of just cause, who trained and fought and lived and died together, and who have returned to families, wives, children, civlian life, and an America that has lost its way.

What others are saying

This sterling collection stands with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.
Publishers Weekly

View reader reactions

"Glose’s book is a privilege to read, a tribute to his comrades in war and peace, a divulgence of truth that gives necessary attention to veterans and their families. At the same time, it is a call to society for increased compassion for these men and women."
Christian Science Monitor

"Glose’s superbly and empathetically written book is highly recommended. While the subject matter is inherently heavy, it is compassionately managed by one who understands the journey."
Library Journal

“A brutally honest portrayal of combat and its aftermath, Glose looks the horror in the eye and never averts his gaze. An important book all Americans should read to understand the fallout from twenty years of continuous war.”
Brian Castner
author of The Long Walk, Disappointment River, and All the Ways We Kill and Die

“Glose rivets the reader’s attention with gritty, convincing detail on everything from combat, to paper-bag machinery, to coping with wayward teens. No rah-rah patriotism here, only the true cost of war shown in blood and damage and regret. A moving, tragic tribute to those whose lives were wrecked by fighting in America’s longest war, Ruined Men is one of the most moving collections I’ve ever read.”
David Poyer
author of Violent Peace, Heroes of Annapolis, and more than 40 other books

“A collage of explosions, both in combat and civilian life. In this collection, Bill Glose hinges the traumas of war to everyday events: playing poker, hosting a party, digging a pool. All the Ruined Men is an impressive debut from a seasoned storyteller who understands nuance and character and how memory abides inside every present moment. These stories are brutal, disarming, tender, and wrenching. They are also very well-written—lyrical, yet understated—harrowing, piercing, fierce.”
Sheri Reynolds
author of The Tender Grave and The Rapture of Canaan (Named an Oprah's Book choice)

“In his closing quartet of stories, Glose lands body blows of brilliant prose that rend the heart. In "The Dead Aren't Allowed to Walk," a character experiences a downward spiral during an addled quest to avenge a friendly fire death. A sister's devastation is eloquently mapped as she observes the objects left behind by her brother in "Her Brother's Apartment." In the collection's longest story, "Penultimate Dad," Mueller reconnects with a daughter he does not recognize, discovering he still has something to offer her. Sure to rank with the likes of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Glose's All the Ruined Men is a riveting collection of superbly crafted stories, stripped down like a field weapon, capable of cutting and gutting with the blunt reality of war's ugly wake.”
Peggy Kurkowski
reviewer for BookBrowse and member of National Book Critics Circle

“Bill Glose’s new collection of short stories titled All the Ruined Men (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) will be counted among the greats...Those who have served, who have smelled the burning cordite of combat and felt the sting of sudden, violent loss, should find pieces of themselves in its pages...For those who did not serve, this book should serve as a valuable window into the minds of the veterans in their lives.”
Brett Allen
reviewer for Real Clear Defense

“Through these heartfelt stories Bill Glose shatters the myth of the tight-lipped, stoic veteran.”
Will Mackin
author of Bring Out the Dog (winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award)

“I'm in the middle of All The Ruined Men and I had to write to tell you what a magnificent achievement the book is. The stories are riveting, tone-perfect, and the level of detail is unmatched in so many other, lesser books that I've read lately. The writing is literally breathtaking--the jump sequence, the poker scene, so many other moments. Emotionally wise, too. Congratulations from your fan”
Janet Peery
author of What the Thunder Said and River Beyond the World (National Book Award Finalist)

“Searing, evocative linked stories, masterfully told, of the devotion and devastation of young soldiers in combat and the trauma and isolation experienced by too many as they struggle to readjust to home after multiple deployments in our forever wars. Heartbreaking, but with glimmers of hope, this eloquent book should be read by all who want to understand what we ask of, and do to, so many of the few we send to fight our wars.”
Mark Treanor
author of A Quiet Cadence (winner of the William E. Colby and W. Y Boyd Awards)

“A generation of American men and women have gone abroad since 9/11 in search of monsters, returning home to a land mostly unchanged while they themselves are anything but. In prose both searing and forceful, Bill Glose traces the after-wars of one infantry squad, examining how combat lingers in the hardest of souls sent off by their country to do the impossible. There are small victories, large failures, drudgery and bursts of hope, too. This accomplished book is more than a collection of war tales. It's a reckoning.”
Matt Gallagher
author of Empire City and Youngblood.

"Glose has written an intense book about these brave men who are serving and going through hell at times, away from their families and facing harsh situations in foreign countries. He draws upon his experince being in service and these stories can be tough to read at times and seen through the eyes of the soldiers. It’s a powerful [collection] that will stay with you long after you have finished it."
Red Carpet Crash