By Tim Sandlin
Sourcebooks Landmark, Hardcover, 9781402241819, 464pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
"Sandlin understands that the best black comedy is only a tiny slip away from despair, and he handles this walk without a misstep."
-Dallas Morning News
Managing the Virgin Birth Home for Unwed Mothers means the women in Sam Callahan's life keep his world interesting. But it's his family members that really take the cake. His daughter may be having a nervous breakdown, and his mother's just out of prison for attempting to poison the president's dog. And when they hit the road with a geriatric, an adoptive son trying to discover his parentage, and an enraged psychopath on their tails, all hell may break loose.
Fifteen years ago, Tim Sandlin concluded his "Gro-Vont" trilogy, a string of books that included a New York Times Notable Book and earned such accolades as "funny and compelling" (LA Times), "zany" (Cosmo), and "dazzling and moving" (New York Times). But some characters call a writer back.
Welcome to the ribald, rollicking, and sometimes peculiar world of Tim Sandlin's GroVont, Wyoming, where family is always paramount, no matter how strange.
"I don't understand why your mother was in prison in the first place," Eden said. "I heard she was a feminist force for justice in America."
I glanced in the rearview mirror at Gilia, staring out the window at the red cliffs along the river, pretending not to listen. It would be just like her to feed Eden that feminist force for justice in America line. Although we'd been together almost ten years, I still had no clue as to when Gilia was being sarcastic. It seemed like an important thing to know.
I said, "Mom FedExed a poison chew toy to Ronald Reagan's dog."
After a moment of semi-stunned silence, Eden said, "Now I see why you're so squirrelly."
Praise for Tim Sandlin
"Dazzling...moving...Sam's carapace is humor... He thinks like Holden Caulfield and has Joseph Heller's take on despair. His Walter Mitty-like fantasies are tiny comic gems...In the end you'll find yourself rooting for Sam."
-New York Times Book Review
"Funny, shocking, downright revolting, and occasionally sad. Sandlin is a compelling storyteller."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Able storytelling and an engaging cast of dysfunctional modern American pilgrims animate this winning tale of the road...Sandlin fashions a convincing tale of redemption."
"Sparkles with intelligence."
"Wild, wonderful, and wickedly funny...Highly recommended."
"Thoughtful, surprising, and delightful entertainment."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Tim Sandlin's fiction packs a punch. The writer's fictional Wyoming town is a grungier version of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, a community where people ponder the difference between depression and despair."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Reviewers have variously compared Tim Sandlin to Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Larry McMurtry, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Hiaasen, and a few other writers you've probably heard of. He has published nine novels and a book of columns. He wrote eleven screenplays for hire, two of which have been made into movies. He used to write reviews for the New York Times Book Review but was fired for excessive niceness. He lives with his family in Jackson, Wyoming, where he is director of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. His "Sandlinistas" follow him at www.timsandlin.com.