Mark Twain? I am not going to argue with the overreach here, but really? I’ll take it. I think I’ll go build a raft and float down the Milwaukee River.
This is a review from US Review of Books that came by grace of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Please feel free to share this, liberally.
Badlands, Thomas Biel, Three Towers Press – The author is a master storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain and Garrison Keillor, creating characters that readers care about through the unexpected twists and turns of events. His stories stretch playfully like a rubber band, then unexpectedly snap with new understanding, emotion or consequences. Narrator Matthew Davis relates boyhood hijinks with his best friend, Idaho Wells in a small town near the Montana Badlands. Beneath the situational humor, there’s truth—sometimes painful, sometimes awkward or uncomfortable, but always reaching into the guts of humanity. Davis’ father is a Presbyterian minister who’s lost his faith; his brother is a draft dodger; another friend, “Mona Lisa,” is suspected of being gay, but his reality is a bigger secret. Each chapter stands alone, but are also part of the larger fabric of the book. The book is funny, dramatic, tender, and sad, with characters so real you forget that they are fictional.
To view the review page, link: http://www.theusreview.com/USRhoffer.html#genfic
The book award season for 2013 books is pretty much over now and I’m happy to announce that Badlands did quite well. Feel free to share this post! Here is a list of recognitions, beginning with the best finishes:
Next Generation Independent Book Awards: First Place Short Story Collection–Fiction (Awards not posted on their site yet, but link here to their webpage: http://www.indiebookawards.com/)
Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Runner Up General Fiction: http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbookwinners.html
Eric Hoffer Book Award: Short list for Grand Prize: http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbookshortlist.html
Eric Hoffer Book Award: Finalist for First Horizon Award: http://www.hofferaward.com/HAFirstHorizonshortlist.html
Eric Hoffer Book Award: Finalist for the Da Vinci Eye Award for book cover and book design (Dale Beckman (http://www.dalebeckman.net/) artist): http://www.hofferaward.com/HAdaVincishortlist.html
Midwest Indpendent Publishers Book Awards: Runner Up for Short Story Collection and Young Adult: http://www.mipa.org/midwest-book-awards/24th-annual-midwest-book-awards-finalists
I would like to congratulate Doug Rose for winning the Midwest Independent Publisher’s Book Award for Literary Fiction. Doug is also a Bay View (Milwaukee) writer and Bolt is his first novel.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Badlands along the way, and keep it up if you can. The book is available at Amazon.com and at Boswell Books in Milwaukee and hopefully at other book sellers soon. Pass the word. Write an Amazon review. Recommend it to a friend for good summer reading! Thanks!