Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Everything: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Everything: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Everything: A Novel

by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  57 reviews
In taut, exquisite prose, Kevin Canty explores the largest themes of life—work, love, death, destruction, rebirth—in the middle of the everyday.

On the fifth of July, RL and June go down to the river with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red to commemorate Taylor’s fiftieth and last birthday. Taylor was RL’s boyhood friend and June’s husband, but after eleven years, June, a chil
...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Nan A. Talese (first published January 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Everything, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Everything

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 569)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kelsey Fitzpatrick
Everything by Kevin Canty, Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday 2010, New York

Kevin Canty’s Everything is an all-encompassing fiction novel about life, love and the limitless cycle of death and rebirth.

The book opens with the scene of a majestic, flowing river. June and RL are perched on a couple of cool rocks sipping hard liquor straight out of the bottle. From the beginning, we are presented with a sense of confusion and uneasiness. June mourns the anniversary of her dead husband, as she does each year,
...more
Amy
Unhappy people searching for meaning....

I realize we all seem to want what we can't have (which may tie into the title), but this book takes the focus from being a have-not to a whining and pathetic have-not. Most of the characters are my age or older, and none the wiser for their years. Many of their mistakes are self-inflicted, and despite the vast amounts of time they spend pondering their life course, they seem pretty inactive in changing it.

I did find the character of June, a dying mother,
...more
Jessica
Won this through the First Reads program. Personally, this book just didn't do it for me. While I can definitely appreciate Canty's writing style, the storyline and characters, for me, were weak. I was not compelled to turn the pages and see what happened; I did not develop relationships with the shallow characters; and I had very little interest in the novel overall, forcing myself to read through it. The characters needed more depth, the story needed more intrigue. I found this book to be a de ...more
Megan Fletcher
Review: Everything by Kevin Canty

Everything, a novel by Kevin Canty is about four characters whose lives intertwine in a strange almost abnormal way. Canty’s book tells the story of romance, friendship, lost, failure, and hope. All these factors are the core of this work and reflects the essence and purpose of the human life.
The main character, RL, is a man who is a business owner and generally, a good friend and caring father. He has a romance with Betsy, a woman he’s known since college. He r
...more
Laura
Everything: An Intricate Tapestry of Humanity, of Emotion…of Life.

Reviewed by: Laura Arocho
Published in 2010 by Doubleday, a division of Random House

Set in Montana, Kevin Canty’s Everything follows RL, Layla, June and Edgar, who are all intertwined not just by the bonds of their relationships, but by their mutual desire for something more, something better than the empty lives that they currently have.

June and RL, linked by June’s late husband, Taylor (who was RL’s best friend) seek to end the
...more
Brittany
There are four main characters in “Everything”, who form the basis of Cantys new book. RL is the main character, and the story begins with him and June. Soon we are introduced to Layla, RL’s 19-year-old daughter. The characters are in remembrance of RL’s old friend, and June old husband, who died.. They are drinking by the river, and Cantys description of the Montana river, soon to be followed by other beautiful but not flowery details of the open blue sky of Montana really call out to the reade ...more
Faith
I didn't as much read this story as drift through it. I was caught up in the lives of RL, June, Layla, and to a lesser extent Betsy and Edgar, much the way we get caught up in the lives of people around us, particularly in a small town. It was an easy book to put down when I had other things to do, but also very easy to get back into it when I picked it up again.

This is what I call a quiet novel. There isn't a lot of exciting action. It's not that nothing happens, but none of it is remarkable. I
...more
Andy Miller
This novel, set in the Swan Valley of Montana, starts out with RL and June on a river bank in their annual tradition of remembering RL's best friend and June's husband who had died 11 years earlier. The story continues with June's decision that she needs to move on with her life and the steps she takes to do that. RL's daughter, Layla, a student at the University of Washington who is home for the summer, and Edgar, a painter who also works for RL's fishing guide company, also become central to t ...more
Paul
The thing is, you can't just all a novel "Everything" and excuse its being kind of all over the place. Sure, there are shifting POVs, and that's fine, but the tonal shifts are extremely jarring (I mean within POVs), as are the tense shifts, which are also inexplicable, arbitrary, and annoying. Canty is a good writer, I'd say, and sometimes really good, but I think he's way more stylish (or stylized) than is good for him. Everything is sheathed in cool, hip fragments or (albeit subdued) hypercont ...more
karl
The author is a University of Montana teacher of fiction writing. The New York Times’ reviewers really liked this book. I found throughout it was a bit depressing (with a tiny uptick at the end). None of the 4 major characters plus two minor characters is happy. The primary character is pushing 50, has a fishing store in Missoula. He or someone on his small staff take clients on fish-float trips. His wife ran off years ago. His 19-year-old daughter lives with him, is involved with several guys, ...more
Carl
Set in the Swan Valley of Montana, Everything starts out with RL and June on a river bank in their annual tradition of remembering Taylor, RL's best friend and June's husband who died 11 years earlier. June's decides she needs to move on with her life and takes steps she takes to do that. RL's daughter, Layla, a college student who is home for the summer, and Edgar, one of the fishing guides for RL's company become part of the story. RL also confronts his own life as June and Layla move on, and ...more
Susan
I am interested in books about the American West, an area I've visited but don't know well. This had a very Montana, small town in the West feel about it - but of course I wouldn't know anything about the authenticity. Still enjoyed it, the landscape especially, and the portrayal of the personal relationships. I liked the unfinished stories, some important issues not quite resolved - as in real life. First book I've read by Canty and would read others.
Bookbeaver
This is the first Canty I've read. His writing is indeed Carver-esque, as are his characters and story line. Having lived in Montana and being an alum of UM I was attracted to the idea of the story simply through geography, but as I turned the pages (fairly rapidly at that, although it took some time to get comfortable with the extra white space on the page between the dialog) I was pulled into the story and those in it.
Canty is a 'home-grown' product of the MFA program at UM, having studied (a
...more
Arjun
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Ingram
Very spare language, and spare even visually on the page, which makes for an interesting reading experience and maybe kinda sorta even evokes the landscape of the setting? A lot of beautifully rendered moments, and lines I would have jotted down in a journal if I were the kind of person who jotted down lines in a journal.

Ultimately, it didn't entirely come together in the end for me in the choral way I expected, what with all those different voices, which isn't to say it was unsatisfying, just t
...more
Kathryn Yaste
I would really like to give this book three and a half stars. Maybe in time, I'll give it a fourth star. You know what? Screw it, I'm changing it to four stars right now. Just for pages 96-98 if for no other reason.
I was really impressed with Canty's ability to articulate murky emotions into concise and often humorous prose. He has a unique writing style that I like. It sort of gives a casual, relaxed feel to the whole read, almost like you're furniture in the character's lives, watching the sto
...more
Georgiann Hennelly
R.L and June are commemerating what would have been Taylor's fiftieth birthday. He was June's husband and R.L'S boyhood friend. June works as a hospice worker and has no children. She finally declare's she;s nobodys widow. And is considering selling her house and starting a new beginning. R.L , is a divorced empty nester and is facing a major change also. When he agrees to let Betsy his old college girlfriend stay with him while she goes through chemotherapy. Caught between June's hopes for a ne ...more
Mary White
Set in Montana, the story of friends' lives intersecting like bumper cars. Lots of reflection on loves and friendships lost,time wasted, too much booze. Aimless.
Amanda
Kevin Canty's novel "Everything" is beautifully written. The imagery is sharp and clear and one can hear in the cadence of the novel the voices of people from the Montana region. I would designate this a "quick read" because of the fluidity of the writing style, the lack of quotation marks around dialogue, and the line breaks between non-traditional paragraphs that are almost in themselves works of mini-fiction. While I would have liked to have been a little more surprised about the characters a ...more
Donald
In short, alternating chapters, we see the thoughts of the four main characters whose lives are interconnected. None of them are particularly likable or interesting, yet somehow you can relate to their disaffected lives and feelings. Two of them are middle-aged and two are younger. Coping with getting older (and still wondering "what's it all about?") and dealing with relationships (family ones and romantic ones) are two key themes. Staying true to the tone throughout, there are no real revelati ...more
SheilaRaeO
I had a very hard time trying to like this book. I had high hopes for it based on the description and earlier reviews I had read. Unfortunately, I just could never get into it. The writing is rather sparse with the most detailed descriptions given over to fishing which I really have little interest in. I did not like the style choice of simply leaving large spaces between spoken sentences. I was confused as to who was talking sometimes or if maybe some of it was thoughts rather than spoken aloud ...more
Katelynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
P
As I read this book, which I won on Goodreads/First reads btw, I couldn't help but think about how much it reminded me of Hemingway's work. Kevin Canty's style is similar in its simplicity and economy. Each word is carefully chosen for effect and the sentence structure is designed for impact. The characters are so realistic in their search for meaning. I found this book to be very powerful...a meaningful story that left me with a very complete, satisfied feeling.

Elizabeth
This book was picked out by somebody else and I decided to read it. I was surprised to find out it takes place in Missoula, MT. So far I am not far enough into it to say if it's going to be good or not, but I'll give it a chance based on the setting.

I finished reading. There were a lot of characters and was not really much development. Everybody seemed depressed and never really came to any resolution of their inner turmoil.

It was okay, but not very exciting.
Ben Fowlkes
Kevin Canty was a professor of mine at U of M, so maybe I'm not the most unbiased reviewer, but I think this novel ranks among his best work, which is saying something. It's a book about sad people who try to take steps that they think will make them less sad, and they generally meet with mixed results. A lot of loneliness and depression, lots of drinking and hanging around in Montana. In other words, it's right in my wheelhouse as a reader.

Julia
A very skilled writer, Canty is, and I know that I will reread this novel. It is, in a way, about everything that matters at the core of life, presented by the author with spare and incisive prose. Despite this spare writing it is picturesque, and he has a great deal of empathy for his characters. They are all trying to create new lives, or new directions, for themselves and Canty develops this in a very plausible fashion.
Travis Fortney
Yeesh--pretty rare to find a writer who puts together such elegant sentences and knows his way around a plot, too. This book falls into the small genre of "Montana fiction"--which is to say that there's a River Runs Through It type thing going on--but it's most successful when it rises above that, which it does with an almost sneaky effectiveness. Way to go, KC.
Brad
Took me way to long to finish this excellent book. I can't quite put my finger on what makes Kevin Canty's writing so wonderful. He writes with a simple elegance, the kind of 'plain' style of writing of John Williams who I love so much. Definitely a great book set in the lonesome West. Highly recommended.
David
As hoped, the perfect antidote to Franzen's "Freedom"--lean and warm, though still loaded with trouble. Great work with the wide-open Montana setting. A great, vivid cast of sympathetic characters. Didn't come in for a landing worthy of the journey that took me there, but endings are tough...
Tuck
in some ways Canty has used ken bruen's sparse style. lots of white space and mostly dialog, interior or not. this story about families trying to carry on after death and/or dissolution shows how very hard it it to be articulate about what makes us sad, or happy for that matter.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Preston Falls
  • The Book of Mischief: New and Selected Stories
  • The Death of the Adversary
  • Love Bomb
  • The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold
  • The Understory
  • The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay
  • Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty
  • A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards
  • Big Ray
  • The Last River Child
  • The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars
  • The New Valley: Novellas
  • Percival's Planet: A Novel
  • Elegies for the Brokenhearted
  • The Last Days of California
  • Orchard
  • Leaving Rock Harbor
Kevin Canty writes novels and short stories. He is a faculty member in the English department at the University of Montana at Missoula, where he currently resides. He received his Masters degree in English from the University of Florida in 1990, and M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona in 1993.
More about Kevin Canty...
A Stranger in This World: Stories Into the Great Wide Open Honeymoon: And Other Stories Where the Money Went: Stories Winslow in Love

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »