An Unlikely Quest for Freedom


(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

Another fine mess I’ve gotten myself in.

I’m reading a series of delightful volumes on soul-searching travels by Roan Poulter in reverse order. Poulter’s third novel in a series, The Long Road Home, was, like my third, Crazy of Natural Causes, a KindleScout selection. When I downloaded another, All Roads South, it didn’t make a sufficient impact on my psyche for me to realize that I was going backwards in the narrative.

Soon I will undoubtedly read the The End of the Road, the first in the trilogy, so that I can go “ass backwards,” or, as is sometimes said in these parts, “bass ack’ards,” with contrary perfection.

Here’s a link to the review I wrote of The Long Road Home.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I like Poulter’s style. I’ve a weakness for soul searching. I do my share.

Clark, the main character of All Roads South, plays only a bit role in The Long Road Home, but I’ll miss his inexplicable capacity for perseverance. More than a bit of Walter Mitty resides in Clark, who has labored and saved and meticulously planned a dream vacation that no one in his family seems to care about.

The dream vacation is the vehicle the wife uses to leave him and inform him that she has found another. Clark hides the reality from his innocent son, Jack, and the teen-aged daughter, Chloe, becomes a bit angst-ridden that she knew about Mom’s infidelity and kept it from him.

Clark, however, is both shattered and dogged and decides to forge on, almost by happenstance, and takes it upon himself to buy a used motor home and try to drive it to the bottom of South America, taking the kids and his modest wits along.

Oh, it’s implausible that a man such as Clark would embark on such a quixotic voyage, but he does, and the fact that he remains clueless in many ways only makes the story more amusing.

Clark isn’t through playing against type. He and his baffled kids happen upon a young motorcyclist, Jordan, and his larger-than-life mother, Anne, and these polar opposites, Clark and Anne, embark upon a torrid love affair while making their bumpy way across Mexico, Central America and South America.

They face burglary, mechanical failure, physical injury, and Montezuma’s Revenge.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, even though I knew it was coming because I had inadvertently cheated by reading the next book.

Here’s a link to Roan Poulter’s All Roads South.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              Most of my books are available here, many in both print and Kindle editions.

              Below are my novels, and the clicks will take you to the print versions. The link above, to my Amazon author page, will give you access to Kindle and print versions.

              Forgive Us Our Trespasses is new. It’s set in South Carolina and is a crime novel loaded with politics, corruption, murder, sex, drugs, parents, and kids. It’s frank and irreverent.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              Crazy of Natural Causes is the story of a failed Kentucky football coach who rebuilds himself in original ways. Some have called it an agnostic novel. I call it a fable on life’s absurdity.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

              The Intangibles is set in the 1960s, again in South Carolina, because that is where I live and almost always have. It’s a story of civil rights, bigotry, drugs, and, of course, high school football.

              The Audacity of Dope is a tale of a pot-smoking songwriter who, inexplicably, becomes a national hero, which is not at all what he would prefer. It’s a chase yarn with a man and a woman on the lam.

              Then there’s the brand-new collection of short stories, Longer Songs, a title chosen because the 11 stories all began in songs I wrote. If you’re not sure you want to take a leap of faith into my novels, sample my short stories first.

              Signed copies of my novels — and Longer Songs — are on sale at L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, here in Clinton, S.C. For a limited time only, buy a copy of either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a copy of Longer Songs free.




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