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This One Will Hurt You

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The powerful essays in Paul Crenshaw’s This One Will Hurt You range in subject matter from the fierce tornadoes that crop up in Tornado Alley every spring and summer to a supposedly haunted one-hundred-year-old tuberculosis sanatorium that he lived on the grounds of as a child. They ruminate on the effects of crystal meth on small southern towns, Maurice Sendak’s Where the ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published March 18th 2019 by Mad Creek Books
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4.14  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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As a hard core literary fiction fan, I'll admit I'm still quite new to the whole genre of non fiction essay collection. In an effort to broaden my reading horizons this year, I'm trying to read it more often, but I keep finding myself torn with same old question of how-much-of-this-is-truly-true-and-how-much-is-fluffed-up-in-an-effort-to-keep-my-attention-or-fill-in-the-gaps-that-memory-leaves-blank? Paul himself, in his essay "Choke", takes a moment to acknowledge this very thing, stating that ...more
Dorothy Bendel
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a compelling, beautiful essay collection. Paul Crenshaw masterfully delves into memory, pain, and joy through stunning imagery and skillful form. When Crenshaw describes the cold, you will feel your skin chill. When he writes of heartache, your chest will pang. Crenshaw is surely one of the finest essayists working today—and this book is a worthy addition to the "21ST CENTURY ESSAYS" series from Ohio State University Press.
Eli Cranor
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished THIS ONE WILL HURT YOU in bed last night with tears in my eyes and my wife asleep on my lap. This collection of heartfelt, gritty essays hit me in my soft spot. Crenshaw hails from Booneville, Arkansas, about an hours drive west of my hometown. He tackles parenthood, death, life, ghosts, craft, Jesus, and meth houses going up in flames. THIS ONE WILL HURT YOU lives up to its name.

I wanted to highlight some of the lines that have remain lodged in my heart:

"I could find out, could make
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I first encountered Paul Crenshaw in the 2018 Best American Essays. I admired his story “Cadence” and started to follow him on Twitter. Recently Crenshaw sent me the ARC of his forthcoming collection of essays This One Will Hurt You. These essays read as a whole are a striking insight into the author, his family and friends, and his milieu. The book taken as a whole is similar to a memoir except written in vignettes and out of chronological order. At the end, the reader feels they know Crenshaw ...more
Michael Durkota
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recently decided to expand my reading list to include non-fiction and essays and poetry, and, generally things other than fiction. Not long after this decision, I came upon an essay by Paul Crenshaw. I clicked the link on my Twitter feed, I read the essay, and then a few minutes later I ordered his collection, “This One Will Hurt You.” I dove right in when it arrived, but I decided I would only read one essay every day or so. For some reason I thought that was the way to digest a collection of ...more
L. D. Russell
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever put down a book at its end and sat shaken, short of breath, unsure of where you were, as if you'd just been through a scary, exciting car wreck, and yet somehow still wished for more? That's what this fine book will do to you. Crenshaw is a damn good writer. His spare prose, not a single word wasted and leavened with humor, invite you into a very specific world, the hills and trees and storms of western Arkansas. The magic of these essays is that each in its own way opens out from ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Essays, 3-1/2 stars.
Robert Kaniuk
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Crenshaw is a master of the essay. This collection does a masterful job at walking the line between sentimentality and deep pain.
Jennifer L.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The title does not lie. This collection of essays is beautifully written and is filled with friends and family, love and loss, heartbreak, and humanity. It will hurt you. This collection is truly something beautiful.
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