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“’Tales of an All-Night Town’ invites comparison with Norman Mailer’s ‘The Executioner’s Song’. .. Like Mailer in Provo, Utah, Schoen conveys the language and idiom of the streets and roadhouses of Lovejoy, Ill., so convincingly that her story actually seems to be told from the inside out...(She) tells the story with wonderful economy and precision, capturing a predominantly male and exclusively black world. ..For page after page, she allows Lovejoy, Ill., to speak for itself, creating in the process not only an intricately detailed portrait of her protagonist but also the most accurate dialogue since George V. Higgins’s ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’... Unlike Mailer, Schoen does not call her book a novel; this makes it difficult to praise her skills as an artist without running the risk of offending her pride as a journalist – if indeed this is a distinction she herself would make. I trust it isn’t, for ‘Tales of an All-Night Town’ transcends the differences between the categories, achieving the sort of accuracy that is approached in only themost intelligent books, fiction or nonfiction.”

Philip Rosenberg, The New York Times Book Review

“...a sharp, revealing portrait of life in a Middle-America village. It focuses on the charismatic Bollinger, his rise and fall, but goes far beyond him to examine white middle class illusions and black realities, poverty and despair”

St. Louis Magazine

“... an American classic, authentic in every detail and written in a style that suits the suspenseful material – this is a very important book.”

Gordon Parks

“’Tales of an All-Night Town’ is as fast and precise as a gangster’s bullet. Its style is immediate and visceral...Schoen is enough of a reporter to know whom to talk to, enough of a writer to know when to listen...Her book about the southern Illinois town known as Little Las Vegas packs a wallop.”

The Boston Globe

“In the manner of Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ and Mailer’s ‘The Executioner’s Song’, Ms. Schoen lets those involved...tell the story in their words and makes us witnesses to a complex event in a wide-open little town that is unforgettable. An authentic American classic.”

Betty Leighton, The Winston-Salem Journal

“Just when we need a truly gifted young writer, along comes one: Welcome, Elin Schoen!”

Truman Capote

Book Cover: Tales of an All-Night Town
“... an American classic, authentic in every detail and written in a style that suits the suspenseful material — this is a very important book.”
Gordon Parks