Reviews & Media


Clearly Now, the Rain considers those hard years of the twenties — when one is no longer a youth, but not yet convincing as an adult.The book’s concluding pages juxtapose purposeful action with futility in some of the most powerful, punch-to-the-gut writing I’ve read in a long time.  Clearly Now, the Rain wrestles lamentation, celebration, and healing into one totally breathtaking read.” ~ Barbara McMichael

1/2/14 – Review @  Kitsap Sun / Bookmonger @ The Bellingham Herald

A candid and unvarnished journey through want and excess.” ~ Merry Hakin

8/19 – Review @ Scene Magazine, London, Ontario

[Hastings’s] new memoir, Clearly Now, the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Other Trips, is a drug, romance and adventure-filled exploration of that gut-wrenching question, a story that is both thoroughly of its time (post-grunge Seattle) and timeless in theme….” ~ Tyrone Beason

6/31 – ReviewSeattle Times

A candid, bracing memoir of love, addiction and self-destruction……As elemental, lyrical and cringe-inducing a love story as they come.”

April 2013 – Review @ Kirkus Reviews

Eli Hastings will make you fall in love — and then he will punch through your ribcage and rip your heart out — and by the end of his moving memoir, Clearly Now, The Rain, you will thank him for it.” ~ Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding and Red Moon

Hastings writes a graceful, unbiased portrait of someone whose self-destructive fate cannot be altered and he does so with incredible power and sensitivity. “Clearly” is a hypnotic, surreal, and lyrical testament to the capacities of friendship and the outer limits of love. By the time you reach book’s end, the enigmatic Serala will be impossible to shake from your consciousness.” ~ Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger, Tiger

In electric, adventurous prose, Eli Hastings’ Clearly Now, the Rain tells the story of loving one wrecked soul, and the rich, dark wonder of the joys to be found along the way.” ~ Paul Lisicky, author of Lawnboy and Famous Builder 

Clearly Now, The Rain is a wonderfully seamless story that orbits around a young man’s passion for a tragic young woman. But no matter how strong the devotion, no matter how intense the commitment, this memoir is a disturbing confirmation of how the power of addiction all too often overwhelms even the greatest love.  Hastings writes from the heart, with unnerving honesty, and a remarkable sense of compassion.” ~ James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River

Clearly Now, The Rain is an unflinching account of how it feels to be young and flirting with the abyss in America. The narrator’s observations as he and his friends ride rough across the U.S.A., all pulled to orbit around their friend, lover, and lost soul, Serala, are also an investigation into the dangerously different ways that people respond to addiction. This is an elegy, yes, as if told by a boy who began his quest tutored by Kerouac’s ghost, but became, on this hard road, a man schooled in love by the spirit of the Dalai Lama.” ~ Rachel Rose, author of Giving My Body to Science and Notes on Arrival and Departure


1/10/14 – Interview w/ Speak Up, Speak Out! radio, Mount Vernon, WA

8/16 – Interview w/ the Peninsula Daily News, Port Townsend, WA

8/14 – Interview w/ Katie Kowalski of the Port Townsend Leader, Port Townsend, WA

8/12 – Interview w/ Ross Reynolds @ KUOW’s The Conversation, Seattle, WA

7/24 – Interview w/ the brilliant folks @ Trainwreck’d Society, Portland, OR

7/9 – Interview w/ the wild cats at Funemployment Radio, Portland, OR



(University of Nebraska Press, 2006):

Each piece resonates with alternating sincerity, humor, and wonder; each is an integral episode in Hastings’ quest for understanding political differences at home and abroad, as well as the personal disparity between his childhood and his adult life….Falling Room, too, manages to embrace this exploratory spirit throughout its pages, fusing collection through a voice that is hopeful, yet unsentimental, and always seeking answers.” ~ Jackson Brown, Indiana Review

One might expect the memoir of a 29-year-old to be brashly confident, brimming with the sense that the author’s life is full of meanings that lesser lights would do well to heed. Eli Hastings has written a more interesting thing, a self-effacing memoir that attests to the difficulty of knowing the truth of one’s own experience.” ~

Falling Room is musical. It is worldly. It is intimate and concerned. Again and again I was impressed by the great democracy and tenderness in these pages, by these essays’ remodeling of the urban and the pastoral, by their revelation of landscapes disparate and glaring. I finished feeling I’d been party to a mad and jubilant trip. A writer like Eli Hastings gives me hope in many things.” ~ Brad Land, author of Goat: A Memoir

Time and again I came across passages that just floored me—images that were so vivid and right that they catapulted me right to the scene of the story, turns of phrases that captured some elemental truth about the way things are, the way people think and behave.” ~ Philip Gerard, author of Cape Fear and Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life

[Falling Room] is a book about the origin of protest—about finding, challenging, understanding, and ultimately forgiving the father and the fatherland. It’s full of tremendous talent, beauty, and energy.” ~ Sarah Messer, author of Bandit Letters and Red House

In Falling Room, Eli Hastings moves beyond mere anger to write with a passion that fuses pain and tenderness, anger and sympathy. I emerged out the other side of this immensely readable book bruised but full of wild hope.” ~ Sebastian Matthews, author of In My Father’s Footsteps