I Am The River receives Publishers Weekly starred review, exploration by Silent Motorist Media, and first chapter of audiobook available for easy listening

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August 17, 2018 by T.E. Grau

I Am The River - Cover Image - Medium

I am delighted to report that “the bible of the book business” gave my novel I Am The River a starred review, which I’ve belatedly learned – upon deploying the crack research team of tiny brain stems that live inside the Google search engine – are granted to books determined to be “of exceptional merit,” based on a practice first initiated at Publishers Weekly by Sybil Steinberg in the mid 1970s.

Publishers Weekly Logo

Being old enough to remember gold stars affixed to a particularly superb pre-school penmanship assignment, I was aware that a PW starred review was a good and lovely thing, but I had never taken the time to figure out exactly what it meant until today. So, I’m very thankful and grateful that the anonymous reviewer at Publishers Weekly declared my book to be of quality, and to Ms. Steinberg for starting it all in the first place, as it apparently can be quite beneficial for authors, in terms of finding a place on shelves of libraries and retailers. Here’s to hoping that the star buoys the book into wider circulation.

From the review:

“Grau’s poetic prose and stunning evocation of time and place… from the killing fields of Vietnam to the haunted alleyways of Bangkok, form a fever dream of copious bloodshed and many shades of gray.”

Also of note, earlier this week, I Am The River was peeled apart and examined by Justin A. Burnett of Silent Motorist Media, who performed a sort of vivisection on the book, from plot to prose to syntax, that I had never experienced before related to anything I’ve written. It was very cool, and quite illuminating, and I thank Justin for taking the time to read and express his interesting thoughts on the novel.

An excerpt:

I Am The River is an astoundingly well-crafted, compelling, and delightfully unsettling affair. Grau’s talent for setting is as palpable as ever; the jungle of Vietnam is everywhere, like an insidious fantasy that you dare not articulate, even on the reeking city streets of Bangkok. His penchant for deeply tormented characters unfurls in full color, as does his flair for the nightmare. If you are one of the many readers who enjoyed The Nameless Dark, you won’t leave disappointed…

With I Am The River, Grau blossoms into a fully accomplished voice in literary horror (or, perhaps, the literary weird)… This is certainly, from what I’ve read so far, the finest release of 2018.”

I Am The River will be released worldwide on October 1, 2018. Please pre-order through the Lethe Press website, or if you must be a contrarian, you can purchase it through Amazon.

For a preview, please follow the link to the Lethe site, and note the bottom of the listing page, where an audio file of Chapter 1 (“Waiting Rooms”) is presented for your enjoyment (or disdain, or complete ambivalence). I really like how the audiobook turned out, from start to finish, and I  can’t wait until its available for purchase.

The early returns have been great so far, and I hope the book resonates with readers as it makes its way into this weird world as the summer of 2018 suffers a suitable and necessary death.


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I Am The River: A Novel

Nominated for the 2018 Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

They Don’t Come Home Anymore: A Novella

Winner of Dark Muse Award for Best Novella of 2016

The Nameless Dark: A Collection

Finalist for the 2015 Shirley Jackson Award for Single-Author Collection

La oscuridad innombrable

Spanish Ed. of The Nameless Dark - “El aullador” ("The Screamer") named Finalist for 2019 Ignotus Award (Spanish Hugo) for Best Foreign Story

Je suis le fleuve

French Edition of I Am The River, available January 9, 2020 from Sonatine Editions.

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