“Written in spare, unadorned prose reminiscent of Willy Vlautin and Raymond Carver, Ryan W. Bradley’s Winterswim is an edgy, fast-paced story about a psychotic preacher and his good son. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”

-Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time


Winterswim Front_FINALPastor Sheldon Long was born of the woods, raised in a secluded cabin by a mute mother and an abusive father who preached God’s vengeance. Forced to take control of his own destiny, Pastor Long found God in his own way, melded with the mythologies of his mother’s tribe. Now he’s out to send the wicked, as he has judged them, to heaven.

Steven, Pastor Long’s son, is simultaneously pining for his former babysitter who has moved to Hollywood and crushing on nearly every girl he goes to school with. Soon his preoccupation with the opposite sex lures him into investigating a string of drownings that local police are declaring accidents.


“Bradley’s novella about a meth-addled preacher and his teenage son manages to be fast-paced without sacrificing complexity, moral but not moralistic, and thrilling without a hint of pandering. I read Winterswim in a single sitting on a summer evening in Chicago, but it feels like I just survived a harsh Alaska winter.” 

 -Christian TeBordo, author of The Awful Possibilities

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