"While the title suggests a raunchy read, this rich and soulful
novel is actually a rather well-done bildungsroman [coming-of-age story] steeped in wanderlust and whimsy
that at times recalls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, and at others a tamer On the Road
. The story begins in 1936 as 19-year-old Tobias is thumbing his way from Remus, Mich., to his uncle's farm in Glen Rose, Tex., to find a hidden bag of money, after his father, a Baptist pastor, drunkenly slams his car into the church and is removed from the parsonage. The author does an excellent job in making well-charted territory (riding the rails; scavenged campfire meals under the stars) seem vibrant and new
. Snippets of scripture, Southern spirituals, and folk ballads lend context and flavor to the text. Most impressive are the jangly dialogue and the characters' distinctive voices
, which are authentic and earthy
but not remotely hoary. When Tobias finally arrives at his uncle's, the surprises that await him are more than enough to keep his--and readers'--interests piqued." (Review from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards)
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Companion volume now available: The Book of Craw: A Hobo's Testament
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