Kennedy is a masterful writer … both testing his own limits and pushing the limits of literature … stirring original work. His stories pulse with humor, moral edge, and a deep sympathy for the human predicament.
His stories come as a gift from across the sea
of a fine writer’s untamed imagination.

—James Carroll, National Book Award Winner, and author of
Constantine’s Sword, American Requiem, and Mortal Friends

Book Reviews: Full-Length

Excerpts From Reviews:


Excerpts From Reviews:
A Weather of the Eye

… a powerful novella of a father’s death. Kennedy writes with great command and great perception of this crossroads moment in almost everyone’s life.

—Robie Macauley, former fiction editor, Playboy Magazine


Kennedy is a writer of great discernment and a clear sense of what is to be valued. He has the courage to look for our connections with the transcendent.

—Gladys Swan (author of Carnival for the Gods), in Southwest Review


Readers and critics who complain of the lack of intelligence in contemporary fiction, writers’ unwillingness to take risks, their sophomoric ironies, aren’t looking hard enough to find fictional gold. A Weather of the Eye is street smart, beautifully polished, and deeply felt. It deserves a wide and appreciative audience to share its multiple delights. Kennedy’s that rarest of contemporary creatures: a writer whose words count.

—W.D. Wetherell, author of Morning, Chekhov’s Sister, Vermont River, and The Man Who Loved Levittown


Excerpts From Reviews:
Crossing Borders

Kennedy makes a stunning debut as a novelist here in this uncannily accurate and beautifully controlled anatomy of a contemporary marital malaise as ubiquitous as the common cold. I shudder to think what it cost his soul to write this.

—Jack Myers, Texas Poet Laureate 2003-04, and author of Routine Heaven, The Glowing River, and The Portable Poetry Workshop


… sweet joy and sad pain that lie deep in the heart and are exposed. A hauntingly spiritual novel.

—Andre Dubus II, author of In the Bedroom and We don’t Live Here Any More


… a gut-punch of a novel, it leaves the reader gasping for breath …

Kansas City Star


Beyond the violence lies a novel of singular grace and daring existential power as it traces one man’s migration across the landscape of life’s necessities. Thomas [E.] Kennedy has a rare gift. His words have an almost “see-through” incandescence, yet retain a kind of haunting gentleness. In Jack Sugrue we see a man whose tenderness is just a whisper removed from his own ability to find it.

—Gaylord Dold, author of The Last Man in Berlin, Six White Horses, The Devil to Pay, and Schedule Two, as well as a series of novels featuring Mitch Roberts, Private Eye


Wit, insight, courage — Kennedy’s fiction contains them all.

—W.D. Wetherell, author of Morning, Chekhov’s Sister, Vermont River, and The Man Who Loved Levittown


… shimmering with emotional honesty …

New York Times Book Review


Excerpts From Reviews:
Drive, Dive, Dance & Fight

Kennedy’s stories are as good as any I’ve been reading in the past ten years or more. His characters are full, alive, and each story is rich and deep. He writes with wisdom, and it is perhaps that wisdom which turns some of his stories of great sorrow into something triumphant. …funny, gloomy, terrifying, and joyful.

—Andre Dubus, II, author of In the Bedroom and We don’t Live Here Any More


Kennedy is a masterful writer … both testing his own limits and pushing the limits of literature … stirring original work. His stories pulse with humor, moral edge, and a deep sympathy for the human predicament. His stories come as a gift from across the sea of a fine writer’s untamed imagination.

—James Carroll, National Book Award Winner, and author of Constantine’s Sword, American Requiem, and Mortal Friends


[A] wise and witty dissection of the human condition. This collection of Kennedy’s fiction is as good a collection of short stories as you’re likely to find this year. Kennedy’s characters have a way of confronting their fears without being fearless, thus rendering them with the greatest sense of humanity. You can absolutely feel them in your life and that is a feat few contemporary authors are able to achieve. There is a resolute wisdom to the people who populate Kennedy’s stories, yet they always feel within reach of our own human experience. Kennedy’s spot-on wit is apparent in many of these stories as well and after reading a few of them, you know you are in the hands of a writer who knows his craft and his audience, but more importantly, knows his own characters. There have been few collections of short stories that have moved me as much as in Drive, Dive, Dance & Fight, and I couldn’t recommend this collection highly enough.

—Literary Editor, Cape Cod Voice


… filled with wisdom, humor, wickedness, hope, and a deep concern for the suffering and despair of men and women … Intense, humorous, sexually charged, emotionally powerful, the stories of Thomas E. Kennedy brilliantly mine the hidden recesses of the human heart. Kennedy is a dazzling writer, literary, compelling, and profound.

—Duff Brenna, author of The Book of Mamie, The Willow Man, Too Cool, The Altar of the Body, and The Holy Book of the Beard


Excerpts From Reviews:
Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America

As with Orwell, Dickens, Gellhorn, and many others, Thomas E. Kennedy has pushed the essay form to its brightest moments, in which fact can have its poetry, its narrative, its characters, its emotion, and its intellectual integrity…. This is Kennedy’s gift: language not as an instrument of explanation but as reality itself…. We read these essays expecting to learn less about how we might think than how we might live… delivered with no small bit of humor….

—Robert Stewart, Editor of New Letters, writing in South Carolina Review


Kennedy’s expatriate life in Denmark assures him of fresh, lucid vision on his return trips to the states, especially during his New York sojourns. He can be wry, confused, indignant, comic… but what declares itself most is his openess to the odd, the out-of-the-way, the down-and-out, the tawdry, the fading, the provincial in the midst of the glitz, recalling for us the photos of Weegee (or, in another slice of America, Walker Evans) and the prose of Studs Terkel. This book is a small swig of 100-proof empathy.

—Albert Goldbarth


In these culturally sculptured essays, Kennedy will win your heart and beguile your mind as he proves once again that everyone has an interesting story to tell. Kennedy’s synesthesia allows him to listen with his eyes and give us an artist’s brilliantly-tuned nuance for the harmonious sound of words. Call Riding the Dog a literary guide to the kindness, the paranoia, the civility and incivility of New York City and environs south and southeast. Meet those whose experiences and attitudes are tattooed literally and figuratively on their bodies denoting the difficult, down-to-earth, humanistic (sometimes barely human, occasionally spiritual) lives they’ve lived.

—Duff Brenna, Fiction Editor of Perigee: Publication for the Arts,
and author of The Book of Mamie, Too Cool, The Law of Falling Bodies


Kennedy is Coltrane with a typewriter!

—Michael Lee, Literary Editor, The Cape Cod Voice


Excerpts From Reviews:
The Book of Angels

The Book of Angels is that rare beast, a novel that boasts both tight plotting and suspense-laden narrative with style and literary profundity. A novel about imagination and will. The Book of Angels will delight both readers of the fantastic as well as those who seek more in fiction, a tour de force that transcends its raw materials.

—Gordon Weaver, author of Long Odds, Four Decades, and
Count a Lonely Cadence (on which the 1991 film Cadence is based)


Quick and sharp as stilleto heels in an empty alley — and just as ominous and sexy. Is it only the wind flipping the pages, making you race to keep up with this creepily compelling story? Thomas E. Kenney has committed an oxymoron: he has written a profound thriller.

—Askold Melnyczuk, novelist, poet, and editor of Agni


Excerpts From Reviews:
Unreal City

Kennedy’s fiction has won him a devoted band of followers who know what the rest of the literary world is just finding out: that he’s writing some of the most intelligent and beautifully crafted short fiction in America … fresh and contemporary and very much his own.

—W.D. Wetherell, author of Morning, Chekhov’s Sister, Vermont River, and The Man Who Loved Levittown


… Kennedy has chosen to create beautiful gems of the imagination in a world which is increasingly wooed and seduced by tawdry, cheap imitations and reproductions.

—Alan Hibbard, in Rain Taxi


Through the fantastic and the surreal, Kennedy takes us on a journey to those more than real cities of the mind and habitations of the spirit. His is truly an original voice, the sort one discovers with enthusiasm and delight; the gifts he brings us are formidable, memorable, and lasting.

—Gladys Swan, author of Carnival for the Gods


… surprising fictions, blackly comic cultivated philosophical investigations into where the dreary ends and invention’s geography takes over, how sanity always waits, ready to become something else, how every moment — if one just looks hard enough and from the right perspective — holds within itself a blink of bewitchment.

—Lance Olsen, Idaho Poet Laureate 1996-98, for Review of Contemporary Fiction