The Terror of Living (Paperback)

A Novel

By Urban Waite

Back Bay Books, 9780316097888, 336pp.

Publication Date: January 12, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (2/7/2011)
Hardcover (2/1/2011)

List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

March 2011 Indie Next List

“Taut, fast paced, and gripping, this is a real page turner. Phil keeps his horse farm afloat by guiding the occasional illicit shipment across the border in the rugged North Cascades. He knows the land like the back of his hand, and with a quick ride over the mountain pass he is solvent again for a while. But this time they sent him a courier who is nothing but trouble. Bobby Drake is a lawman with a family history - his father made a few extra dollars just like Phil. Bobby is trying to live it down, doing a good job of catching the bad guys. The paths of these two cross violently on a trip gone horribly wrong in this outstanding debut.”
— deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
View the List


Phil Hunt is deep in trouble. For twenty years he's lived in Washington State, raising horses with his wife on his small farm and trying to stay clear of the law. But when a less-than-legal side job goes horribly wrong, Hunt is suddenly on the run from two men: Drake, the deputy sheriff who intends to incarcerate him, and Grady, the vicious hitman with a knife fetish who means to carve him limb from limb.

An explosive chase ensues, and Hunt is forced to use all his willpower and toughness to rescue his quiet life and save his skin. Headlong and gorgeously written, with memorable characters and a vividly powerful sense of place, The Terror of Living marks the arrival of a new master of narrative suspense.

About the Author

Urban Waite, 30 years old, grew up in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He went on to study writing at Western Washington University and Emerson College and now lives in Seattle with his wife. The Terror of Living is his first novel.

Praise For The Terror of Living: A Novel

"The Terror of Living opens with gentle beauty, calm before a bloody storm, before building intensity with swift, jarring, and confident storytelling power. A fine debut from a writer of obvious and substantial talents. Readers--including this one--will certainly be following Urban Waite for years to come."—Michael Koryta, author of So Cold the River

"In the tradition of No Country for Old Men, Urban Waite has written a nail-biter that takes off from the get-go and never stops, a book chock full of memorable characters and kick-ass writing. Clear your calendar before reading this one, folks, because once you start there's no stopping until the end, which arrived much too quickly for this reader. A smashing debut."—Tom Franklin, author of Hell at the Breech and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

"A supercharged suspenseful thriller peopled by colorful characters and driven by terrifying events that begin at mach speed and never slow for a moment. Supremely cinematic."—Joseph Wambaugh, author of the Hollywood Station novels

"The Terror of Living is a smart, swiftly-paced and bloody Western for our moment. Urban Waite is a writer who won't let a reader wander away--he keeps you reading, and reading, and rewards all your attention with a powerhouse story and prose to match."—Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Bayou Trilogy

"A hell of a good novel, relentlessly paced and beautifully narrated. There's just no let-up. An auspicious debut."

-Stephen King

"In Urban Waite's debut novel, The Terror of Living, three men-all on different sides of the law-find their lives tangled up like roots after a heroin delivery goes dead wrong. Deeo in the woods, with rifles blasting and knives flashing, with the gray faces of the mountains looking down at them, they seek revenge and salvation in one another. This is a book for and about men, one of the best of the year."—Benjamin Percy, Esquire