THE TITLE of Marshall Moore’s debut novel, The Concrete Sky, brings to mind the title of Paul Bowles’s classic novel, The Sheltering Sky. In that work, Bowles portrays three Americans adrift in the North African desert who ultimately destroy themselves because of their lack of knowledge of the terrain—and a lack of comprehension of the motives of the native characters they encounter. While Moore’s novel cannot match Bowles’s poetic prose about a Saharan walkabout, he has created a credible story of characters adrift in their own desert, failing to comprehend the events going on around them that will lead ultimately to death, destruction, and psychological horror on a Grand Guignol scale. Moore also injects a fair bit of humor into the mix, which helps balance the often macabre underpinnings of the story.
Collin Kelley, managing editor of Atlanta Intown magazine, recently came out with his first book of poetry, Better to Travel.