Ohio by Stephen Markley


The debut of a major talent; a lyrical and emotional novel set in an archetypal small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—depicting one feverish, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their hometown, each with a mission, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories.Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of ...

Details Ohio

Release DateAug 21st, 2018
PublisherSimon Schuster
GenreFiction, Mystery, Literary Fiction

Reviews Ohio

  • Cheri
    4.5 Stars”Everybody knows that the dice are loadedEverybody rolls with their fingers crossedEverybody knows the war is overEverybody knows the good guys lostEverybody knows the fight was fixedThe poor stay poor, the rich get richThat's how it goesEverybody knows“Everybody knows that the boat is leakingEverybody knows that the captain liedEverybody got this broken feelingLike their father or their dog just diedEverybody talking to their pocket...
  • Mackey St
    Stephen Markley’s first fiction book, OHIO, is definitely not for the faint of heart. Having written previous non-fiction books, Markley undertakes an ambitious project writing about a rural, Northeaster, Ohio town suffering from the Great Recession, the opioid crisis and the after-effects of 9/11.OHIO centers around the story of four high school friends who are reunited a decade after their graduation. It also circles around the story of one o...
  • Donna
    "Riding backTo where the highway metDead end tracksThe ground is now cement and glassAnd far awayHeal her soul, carry her, my angel, OhioGreen green youthWhat about the sweetness we knewWhat about what's good what's trueFrom those daysCan't count toAll the lovers I've burned throughSo why do I still burn for youI can't saySorry thatI could never love you backI could never care enough in these last daysHeal her soul, carry her, my angel, Ohi0" ...
  • Joseph
    Ohio by Stephen Markley is the story of a Rust Belt town and the people who live in it. Markley is the author of the memoir Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published This Very Book and the travelogue Tales of Iceland.Growing up and living in Cleveland, I remember the tail end of the 1960s, 1970s, and the early 1980s, before leaving for the Marines.  I can recall the culture and impending doom that Ohio br...
  • Donna Davis
    Markley’s thunderous debut is not to be missed. My thanks go to Simon and Schuster and Net Galley for the review copy, which I read free and early, but this is one of the rare times I can say that if I’d paid full hardcover price, it would have been worth it. This is the summer’s best fiction, and it’s available to the public August 21, 2018. Our story is broken into a prelude and four additional parts, each assigned to a different protag...
  • Jessica
    This seems to be one of the buzziest books of the season, but it did NOTHING for me. It seems to be pretty standard Literary White Guy™ fare: kind of dry and self-indulgent. So I'm abandoning it halfway through.
  • Joyce
    2 starsThis is an interesting debut novel. This books is a story about four late-twenties people who are tortured by their past. They came from a small town in Ohio nicknamed “The Cane” for New Canaan, Ohio. They are trying to forge a future for themselves. The town itself has suffered hard times for quite a while. From the Great Depression to drug wars and, lately, the banking crisis with its attendant foreclosures and evictions; these all p...
  • Dianne
    The Great Recession, wars and political unrest left scars on the town of New Canaan, an unremarkable and stagnant town trapped in a gridlock of apathy and economic loss. New Canaan became a living ghost town, its inhabitants shells of empty potential.Four former classmates will come together once again, each with their own baggage, heartaches, shortcomings and histories of time spent away from their hometown. Their stories are chaotic, dark and t...
  • Loring Wirbel
    This is quite an achievement for a debut novel, though the despair of growing up in a small town in the Midwest as Markley pictures it is unrelenting. In the case of Ohio, the despair is not just the singular sort of "lives of quiet desperation" strung out on opioids, but a broader despair that pulls many of its characters toward crimes against their friends, and even against humanity, making the book downright horrific in the end. But that facto...
  • Judy
    Wow! This book touched on all the crises of our times - the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism and violence against America, the opiod crisis, the recession that devastated the country, and more. At once it is a mystery but also a slice of life for today. I found it totally engrossing and it had an ending I didn't see coming. The writing is very descriptive and puts you in the scene so that you can see the character interaction. The descripti...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    This is the kind of totally immersive novel that can keep you up at night. One night in 2013, four former classmates find themselves once more in New Canaan, Ohio, or as they call it, The Cane. Their reasons differ, but each is afforded a novella-length section for their story to be told in overlapping precise detail. Stephen Markley has written two other books, but this is his first novel, and as with many journalists, his prose is clear, incisi...
  • Marjorie
    Totally bleak, exhausting novel. Not recommended. Complete review to be posted closer to the publication date of 8/21.
  • Paul
    Ohio is not a book about living in the past, nor is it about trying to change the past, but as Markley so eloquently puts it, it’s about the storm called progress. For me, the narrative combines a Richard Russo novel, Hillbilly Elegy, and Billy’s Long Halftime Walk. It’s an excellent contemplation of small town life in a part of this country, and a war that many people have forgotten about. I wholeheartedly recommend Ohio; it is very import...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'You passed your time in the cage, he figured, by clinging pointlessly and desperately to an endless series of unfinished sorrows. 'The character developement in this book is fantastic, because they are all heavy with some sort of sorrow. This town is like many others, falling into hard times, gritty, poverty striken, drug riddled, and it’s people as worn down and burned out on life or drugs. T...
  • Michael
    4.5 stars. My starred review for this novel was published in the May 1, 2018, edition of Library Journal:Markley's ambitious debut novel (following a memoir, Publish This Book) reunites four high school classmates on a fateful summer night in their Ohio hometown, in what reads like a darker-themed epilogue to Friday Night Lights. Hollowed out by a generation of war, addiction, and crippling recession, the quintessential Midwestern town of New Can...
  • Christine Lowe
    It's hard to believe this is Stephen Markley's first novel. His voice captured my attention as his words made the mundane beautiful. I took my time reading so I could enjoy the pictures his words brought to life in my mind's eye. The setting is a small town in northeastern Ohio. Life in New Canaan is like life in many small towns across America. Everybody is hurt by the recession. Factories are vacant and many of the small businesses are closed. ...
  • Angela Walker
    I was initially interested in this story because my husband is a soldier from Ohio who served 3 tours in the Iraq war. The characters are my age and the author does a really good job describing living in NE OH. I actually live in NW Ohio but its the same climate and problems so much so I could be a character in the story. I grew up in a small Ohio town, was a Sunday school teacher, dated an older guy and got into similar trouble as the characters...
  • Andrew Cutler
    Four linked novellas following a group of Millenials from a small rural Ohio town, “ Ohio” dispenses with linear time, jumping back and forth from high school, one particular night ten years later, and their lives in the years between. The writing is sharp and concise, the characters believable . I anticipate that this will be a huge hit.Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
  • Tonstant Weader
    This new millennium has been a rough one for America. Just one year in and a few men with boxcutters wounded us. We realized the oceans did not make us invulnerable. Our reaction was malpractice and we have not recovered. The most powerful and costly military in human history is mired in an endless war with impoverished people using improvised weapons. Unable to win a clear victory, our impotence is exposed. Our once vibrant economy has been holl...
  • Ava Huang
    Thanks NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced copy!3.5 stars, actually. This book is uneven: cuttingly good when it's good and quite bad when it's bad. It's essentially about a fucked-up high school reunion--four classmates find themselves back in the small Ohio town they grew up in, each for different reasons and each haunted by different regrets. The pros: there are some really beautiful passages, and the inner lives of the character...
  • Patty
    Raw, broken, dark and tired are the memories recalled, and the town, New Cannan, Ohio is much the same, holding as little promise as it did for the characters in their youth. Recalling the friendships that fostered them, the characters all seem stunned that either they survived or still want to remember this forsaken place of their youth. These were the type of friends that make you wonder why you had friends at all, as they all seemed bent on se...
  • Jean
    As someone from a small town in Southwest Ohio, Markley's Ohio beautifully and tragically depicts the coming to terms with one's past. I was drawn to this book mostly to see how the author portrays my home state. He is spot on with the drug problems plaguing the marginalized areas of the rust belt. The character development makes one love and hate each character through the flashbacks to their youth and choices that were made. One excerpt that re...
  • Heather
    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC.I'm a firm believer that all small towns have their secrets. I think Markley believes this too. And he reveals some big secrets of New Canaan, Ohio. This book begins as one young man returns home about ten years after high school gradation with a package taped under the fender of his pickup truck. On this fateful night he runs into several classmates and we learn of three who are also on mis...
  • Michelle Beckwith
    "Because they were just kids, and that day they drank and they danced and they laughed at the sky-blue heavens, and it really felt like anything could be fixed and anything could be forgiven."Perhaps this is a poignant foreshadowing of doom to come, but it kept me reading on. This novel is dark - and the vulgar language of the first chapter especially, may be off-putting for some, but this novel was hard to put down. The story involves a "rust be...
  • Suzanne
    Author Stephen Markley has attempted to grasp the confounding impulses of Millenial lives and the early decades of this new century and create a major theme of loss and regret. In OHIO, he is mostly successful; there is no question he creates a picture of this current era and its early adult population with amazing clarity and insight. His focus on the rust belt and its citizens leaves us with no sense of hope, though. If this is our present, our...
  • Kayo
    Certainly not a favorite. This book was so wordy, it wasn't a fun read. Thanks to publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Michelle Hart
    expansive, garrulous, important. if franzen had written the corrections in 2017, it would be this book, and i mean that in the best way.
  • jeremy
    thinking about this cage he lived in, this prison where it felt like he'd spent the entirety of his life, cradle to grave, measuring the distance between his most modest hopes and all the cheap regret he actually ended up living. you passed your time in the cage, he figured, by clinging pointlessly and desperately to an endless series of unfinished sorrows. stephen markley's editor, in pitching his author's debut novel, ohio, described it as "rea...
  • Lou Jacobs
    Move over Spinoza! Stephen Markley in his Debut Novel has tackled both the "Meaning Of Life" and "Coming of Age" motif. His platform involves four high school friends haphazardly returning to their rustbelt home of New Canaan, Ohio .... some who refer to as "Bumfuck, USA" The town has fallen on hard times since "9/11" and slid into a slow progressive dissolution. The country is wallowing in the Iraq and Afghanstan war and recession. The four clas...