This Is Only A Test by B.J. HollarsThis Is Only A Test by B.J. Hollars

This Is Only A Test

byB.J. Hollars

Paperback | February 1, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.63 online 
$22.50 list price
Earn 108 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


On April 27, 2011, just days after learning of their pregnancy, B. J. Hollars, his wife, and their future son endured the onslaught of an EF-4 tornado. There, while huddled in a bathtub in their Alabama home, mortality flashed before their eyes. With the last of his computer battery, Hollars began recounting the experience, and would continue to do so in the following years, writing his way out of one disaster only to find himself caught up in another. Tornadoes, drownings, and nuclear catastrophes force him to acknowledge the inexplicable, while he attempts to overcome his greatest fear-the impossibility of protecting his newborn son from the world's cruelties. Hollars creates a constellation of grief, tapping into the rarely acknowledged intersection between fatherhood and fear, sacrifice and safety, and the humbling effect of losing control of our lives.

B. J. Hollars is author of two award-winning nonfiction books, Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America and Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, as well as Sightings (IUP, 2013) and Dispatches from the Drownings: Reporting the Fiction of N...
Title:This Is Only A TestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:180 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.68 inPublished:February 1, 2016Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:025301817X

ISBN - 13:9780253018175

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


I. Dizzied
Goodbye, Tuscaloosa
A Test of the Emergency Alert System
Epistle to an Embryo
To the Good People of Joplin
Fifty Ways of Looking at Tornadoes
The Longest Wait

II. Drowned
The Girl in the Surf
Dispatches from the Drownings
The Changing
Death by Refrigerator

III. Dropped
Fabricating Fear
Fort Wayne Is Still Seventh on Hitler's List
The Year of the Great Forgetting
Punch Line
Bedtime Story

Works Consulted
Book Club Guide

Editorial Reviews

"In these quirky, inventive stories, B.J. Hollars depicts a world both dangerous and unreasonable, a place where the local TV meteorologist assumes the quality of a god. Character may not be fate inThis Is Only A Testbut the reverse is always true-we reveal ourselves by our response to the random cruelties of the universe, from errant meteor strikes to a small child's fever rising in the night." -John Hildebrand, author ofThe Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac