Synopses & Reviews
In the great American tradition of funny road narratives-- from Mark Twain to Hunter S. Thompson--a young journalist searches for his first big break down the lonesome highways of the Southwest and northern Mexico. Alternating chapters of fiction and nonfiction provide a hilarious account of Jake Silverstein's misadventures on the hunt for an elusive magazine article--a journey that becomes a quest to understand the purpose of journalism and the nature of storytelling.
"A hilarious, subtle, and empathetic examination of writing and identity." Michael Washburn
"You'll find pleasures on every page of this warm and funny book. I've never read anything like it. is a masterful literary debut." Boston Globe
" cleverly eludes categorization. Part new journalism, part old-fashioned bildungsroman, by turns whimsical and edifying, very funny yet deeply profound, it is a creation both strange and rare. Jake Silverstein is the book's author and hapless hero, a character composite not unlike Cervantes and his fictional sidekick Sancho Panza. The great accomplishment is that the reader, in the end, does not care what is fact, what is fiction, because she has happily arrived at that much more elusive grail: ." Annie Dillard
"This book (Is it a novel? Or a memoir? Both? Something else?) is hilarious, poetic, lovely, and disturbing. It's filled with ghosts, bad poets with great hearts, treasure hunts, death-wish race-car drivers, and Mexican kids who weep when denied the chance to eat at McDonald's. It's a eulogy for dead American towns, dead American ideas, and dead American jobs. It crosses every aesthetic border as it crosses geographic, racial, and economic borders. You'll devour it." Antonya Nelson
“The road novel—or the road half-novel—has rarely been funnier or more appealing.”—Benjamin Moser, Harper’s
Silverstein's adventures and prose are first-rate. From searching for the grave of Ambrose Bierce in West Texas (fact), to a treasure hunt in the Louisiana bayou (fiction), the memoir traces five years in the author's life when he moved across the American Southwest and Mexico hoping to find a story worth selling that would launch his journalism career.
"The road novel--or the road half-novel--has rarely been funnier or more appealing."--Benjamin Moser,
About the Author
Jake Silverstein is the editor of Texas Monthly and a contributing editor at Harper's. He lives in Austin, Texas.