Things Kept Burning

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Things Kept Burning is the debut collection of stories by Rob Simons. Told primarily by the same first person narrator – a writer searching for transcendence through a series of bizarre relationships, generally involving people from different worlds – these stories offer a compelling examination of American loneliness and hope, while exploring the thin line between reality and fiction.

The book is also about the search for salvation through art. From the adventures of a college professor and his former student with Down Syndrome, to the evening spent in a porn star’s hotel room, to the death of a best friend in a drug overdose, these eclectic narratives challenge readers to question where they’re going with their lives, while illuminating the absurdity of existence itself.

Advance Praise

“This is one of the most explosive collections of the year. Finally, a writer who exposes us to ourselves.”
– Reginald Forest, Journal of Caribbean Studies

“In heroically divesting himself of vanity, of decorative ornament, of unearned sentiment or reassuring illusion, Rob Simons entrusts us with that rarest gift: the truth.”
– Jon Rohrer, Creative Director

“These stories resonate with humor, sadness, compassion, and possibility. The way in which Simons reveals his beautiful vision of the world almost breaks your heart.”
– Nick Plosser,  Director The Gabriel Malison and The Package

“An amazing collection of stories by a writer capable of holding a mirror to our collective soul, Simons offers us a disillusioning but strangely beautiful portrait of life and loss in the 21st century.”
– Matt DeCoste, Creative Director Slippy Magazine


From the publisher’s web site
“Simons writes wistful stories. There is a sense of standing in the ruins and not especially caring because there’s so much to look at. Still, the tone is of an avuncular amoralist trying to simply be decent, a gargantua puzzled that the bonds of servitude are voluntary. Resignation doesn’t mean passivity, just a limit met every night.”

From Amazon
“This author seeks to find patterns in the chaos, and instill sympathy in the reader for the odd and outrageous tragic characters in his stories. There is definitely a Kerouac-like sadness in the|narration. There is an almost physiological connection between the Beat writers and Rob Simons. Simons is most successful at bringing darkness to the light. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to delve into the shadows.”