Cargill Falls

Cargill Fallsis an immediate classic. At once essential and profound and hugely entertaining, the story of the two boys at the heart of this book, and the men they become, follows in the tradition of great coming of age stories like Stand by Me, and then twists and reinvents and does the tradition better, upending all that we know and expect. It’s rare to come across books like this. A writer hopes that once in his or her life he or she can write something so honest.

—Charles Bock

author of Beautiful Childrenand Alice and Oliver


In how it slows down the world, William Lychack’s Cargill Falls achieves something quite unexpected: this is a book that makes your heart drum loudly, that leaves you breathless under the tall canopy of a forest in Connecticut in the 1980s, that pulls you toward a single day’s burning, bright core. Not since William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow has a novel captured so wondrously the landscape of youth, regret, mystery, and violence, and done it with such tenderness, humor, and raw, wild energy.

—Paul Yoon

author of Once the Shore, Snow Hunters, andThe Mountain


William Lychack’s exquisite sensibility of language combines with delicate dramatic tension as he explores the possible meaninglessness of causality. What if one event is not related to another? This is the best novel about adolescent boys I can remember.

—Blanche McCrary Boyd

author of Tomb of the Unknown Racistand The Revolution of Little Girls


A double dimension dream of a book, Cargill Falls trapezes adroitly between the quotidian's ancient ache and the elusive, gleamingly provocative escutcheon of the ideal. It is moving, tender, and compelling from start to finish.

—Patrick McCabe

author of The Butcher Boy and Heartland

William Lychack is the author of a novel, The Wasp Eater, and a collection of stories, The Architect of Flowers.

His work has appeared in The Best American Short StoriesThe Pushcart Prize, and on public radio’s This American Life.

He currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.