The Drop Edge of Yonder
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About the Author
Rudolph Wurlitzer is the author of the novels Nog, Flats, Quake, and Slow Fade, and a non-fiction book, Hard Travel to Sacred Places. He has written numerous screenplays, including Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Two Lane Blacktop, and Walker. Wurlitzer wrote the librettos to two Philip Glass operas, In the Penal Colony and The Perfect American, and co-directed the film Candy Mountain with Robert Frank.
* Time Out New York's #1 Best Book of 2008
* ForeWord Magazine Gold Medal for Literary Fiction
"A picaresque American Book of the Dead... in the tradition of Thomas Pynchon, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut and Terry Southern."
--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
"[A] funny, inquisitive novel [that] asks readers to re-examine their ideas of the Western frontier and personal freedom."
--Wall Street Journal
"There's a bawdy, lunatic thrill to the tale that seems somehow radical. It's the kind of book someone will stick in a back pocket before heading out on the trail into the unknown."
"Wurlitzer delivers a mystic Western possessed of anarchic charms and incantatory beauty. This furiously told legend weaves history and myth into a riotous tale."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"The most hallucinogenic Western you'll ever catch in the movie house of your mind's eye. What results is a genre farce with oracular power--a Queen of Hearts sutra, a court jester's Blood Meridian. With Drop Edge, Wurlitzer has considerably raised the stakes."
"Drop Edge occupies a space between the whimsical and the mystical, the silly and the sublime. Wurlitzer's philosophical, humorous, and visionary yarn guides the reader into a landscape in which to wander around and get lost, a West that leads into the numinous terra incognita between sleep and waking, life and death, and toward the contemplation of what it means to cross a frontier."
"In his hero, Zebulon Shook, Wurlitzer has invented a funny, acerbic, hugely compelling representative of American heroism. This is that rare story that improves as it expands, not unlike another rambling picaresque, Don Quixote."
--Washington City Paper
"Wurlitzer's most satisfying read to date... should be as well known as anything by Cormac McCarthy, Steve Erickson, or Jim Harrison. A pure blast of vituoso storytelling. [Drop Edge] is a book that shows us our own reflection at this exact moment in our history--America as a flailing, undomesticated, wild-eyed, hairy brawler, with a big, confused heart in rebellion against the coarse exigencies of existence and civilization."
--Barnes & Noble Review
"An epic Western and a summation of all that's great about Wurlitzer's novels and film scripts... an old hand laying down what may well be the best piece of writing he's ever done."
"Mesmerizing. A Western as Celine might have written one."
--Times Literary Supplement of London
"The Drop Edge of Yonder, Wurlitzer's first novel in 24 years, is his best to date. It's the rare book that possesses not just big ideas, but the daring cleverness to pull them off."
--Time Out New York
"An epic Western that merges the unique narrative invention of [Wurlitzer's] early novels with the cinematic drift of his best scripts."
--Dazed & Confused
"[A] psychedelic adventure... Ruminative and rip-roaring at once."
"[Wurlitzer's] vivid language has a poetic, almost magical, intensity. An atmospheric work that fuses the road novel and the Western. [A] Western [that] beautifully captures the glimmering maya of a gold-and-gun-and-sex-crazed frontier."
--The Brooklyn Rail
"When Rudy Wurlitzer became a novelist and screenwriter during the 1970s, genre deconstruction was all the rage. The Drop Edge of Yonder, based on an unproduced screenplay from the time, is a psychedelic, fever-dream Western. When fur trapper Zebulon accidently murders a woman, she curses him, declaring, "From now on you will drift between worlds not knowing if you're dead or alive, or if the unseen worlds exist or if you're dreaming..." Readers are all the better for his misfortune. Wurlitzer's prose is a gorgeous, blunt instrument, like riding a bucking bronco on LSD, like if Dispatches were written by Davy Crockett."
--Pat B., Politics and Prose Bookstore
"Simply the most wonderful book I have read all year."
"Wurlitzer opens up his cold-blooded prose veins with the blade of the Western genre, and something sinister and mystically unsettling gushes out."
--Baltimore City Paper