A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do

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Product Details

Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Pete Fromm is a five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award for his novels If Not For This, As Cool As I Am and How All This Started; the story collection Dry Rain; and the memoir Indian Creek Chronicles. He is on the faculty of Pacific University's low-residency MFA program, and lives in Montana with his family. Find out more at petefromm.com.


Praise for A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do

An Amazon Top Ten Book of May 2019
Finalist for the 2019 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Reading the West Book Award

"The novel follows Taz's first two years of fatherhood, a job this self-employed carpenter does not know how to do . . . Fromm's novel is full of joy, sorrow and new beginnings." --Barbara Theroux, The Missoulian

"Pete Fromm excels at showing how everyday people cope with tragedy and endure what they cannot evade. A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is a quietly elegant novel about working through grief and loss by putting one foot in front of the other and about letting people into your broken places to comfort and to heal you." --Vannessa Cronin, Omnivoracious, A Best Book of the Month

"A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do feels like a comedic novel of young parenthood . . . Their situation seems idyllic, but Fromm has another story to tell: of resilience in the face of incomprehensible tragedy . . . This bittersweet novel of young love turning tragic follows a widower and his newborn forging a life among friends and memories." --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, Shelf Awareness

"[A Job You Mostly Won't Know How To Do] beautifully captures people who, isolated by land and by their actions, end up building a life that is both unexpected and brave." --Inlander

"The much-lauded [Pete Fromm] taps into the highs and lows of parenthood. First-time father and recent widower Taz struggles to balance work, finances and childrearing amid a swathe of unpredictable challenges, but with every challenge comes a great reward." --Chris Melville, Idaho Mountain Express

"In this heart-wrenching but hopeful novel by Pete Fromm, a hapless husband needs (and fortunately gets) plenty of help raising his daughter when his wife dies during childbirth." --Erin Kodicek, Business Insider

"A tender tale of loss and fatherhood, Pete Fromm's A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is a beautiful story about what happens when your village comes to the rescue and gives you a second chance at happiness." --Chika Gujarathi, BookPage

"Pulls at the heart strings with the poignant tale of a father, who just having lost his wife in childbirth, must quickly learn to raise his infant daughter, Midge, alone . . . Full of gorgeous descriptions of the wild landscape of Montana, Fromm's novel draws the reader in with a colorful cast of characters who bring hope and light to Taz's life again. Fans of emotional family dramas will find much to love." --Publishers Weekly

"A widowed father's recovery from grief forms the framework of Fromm's touching novel . . . Fromm eschews suspense in favor of a close study of the messy process of rebuilding a life. He pays loving attention to the details of Taz's work and to the place that is as vital to him as any human being. A compassionate and unsentimental look at one confused young man's path through loss." --Kirkus Reviews

"This deeply emotional story is in some ways a simple one of death, birth, grieving, and a long, slow climb toward recovery . . . The best parts are simply magical as Fromm renders indelible images with heartbreaking precision in beautiful, lyrical prose." ―Booklist

"A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do reminds us of the light, the goodness of people, the kindness of strangers, and how the unlucky aren't always lost. They can be lucky again. Fromm is an important and much-needed writer. I can't recommend this one enough." --Willy Vlautin, author of Don't Skip Out on Me

"Once again, Fromm writes masterfully about the tribulations of everyday people in the modern American West. A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is at once a heart-wrenching love story, a gritty tale of surviving irredeemable loss, and a poignant meditation on fatherhood." --Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy

"Oh my God. A brave beauty of a book, A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is about how heartbreaking tragedy can actually burnish us to a new shine we never could have imagined. About the grace of friends and family, the true depth and patience of love, and the impossible privilege of what it means to be a father, this novel simply glows." --Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

"Fromm is an artist, sifting through all the detail of the daily world to find the beautiful revealed. His characters are another life you've lived, felt that closely. Taz is overwhelmed in this novel but also enriched. The miracle of hanging a door correctly, of making it through the first year without his daughter's mother, of getting through a single day, finding resilience and a more expansive life than tragedy promised. There are no shortcuts here, everything earned." --David Vann, author of Aquarium

"This beautiful, mighty book is a workout for the heart; it breaks and rebuilds and strengthens and invigorates. I came away from it with that main muscle expanded in my breast. Superb." --Niall Griffiths, author of A Great Big Shining Star

"I probably spent only six hours completing this book, five of which were in a single sitting. I could place myself, my sister, my friend into the shoes of Taz or Elmo, and it seemed way too real. The two-year span of the book at first seemed daunting, but as I read, each new day for Taz and Midge was something I wanted to explore--I was looking forward to their future far more than Taz. The story flows so seamlessly, never missing a beat, and I just could not put it down." --Kasey Kane, Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)

"Marnie and Taz have it all--they love, laugh, and work together, sneak off to swim at their secret spot, and now they are starting a family. But Marnie dies in childbirth, leaving Taz to cope with his incredible loss . . . and his new baby daughter. Following Taz's sometimes bumbling first two years as a father, I found myself laughing and crying on the same page. Pete Fromm writes so beautifully about the confusing mix of grief and love, and what being a family really means." --Wendy Blake, Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)

Praise for The Names of the Stars

Winner of Honor Book for the 2016 Montana Book Award

"A vivid memoir." --Sierra Club Magazine

"Fromm is not just 'promising, ' he's flat-out good." --Men's Journal

"[Fromm is] an excellent observer of the woods and wildlife around him, but he's perhaps even better at chronicling the feeling of being alone in the wilderness . . . His humor and honesty about the push and pull between solitude and togetherness and the mysterious way that both experiences magnify the other, make Stars a compelling walk through the woods." --The Montana Standard

"The Names of the Stars is a beautiful tribute to that urgent, visceral feeling that means we are still alive in this wild, wild world. This book will be savored by all those who cannot live without wild things." --Montana Quarterly

"[The Names of the Stars] is both triumphant and melancholy, the realization that you might be able to have everything you want, but not always at the same time. The Names of the Stars is a coming-of-age book for adults; it is a tightrope walk between holding on to who you are and letting go a little for something you love even more." --Kenyon Review

"Pete Fromm may crave solitude but he's delightful company on the page. The Names of the Stars is an inspiring book brimming with wilderness adventures and executed with a pleasing mix of action, observation and rumination." --Lively Times

"Although Pete Fromm's new memoir, The Names of the Stars, is set in a place familiar to the author ― a burlychunk of Montana wilderness ― its narrative captures him at a point in life that contrasts with the youthful whimsy of his only other memoir, Indian Creek Chronicles. . . . [Fromm] has sharpened his craft as a writer" --Flathead Beacon

"More than a wilderness adventure . . . Fromm's easy pose is akin to other great outdoor writers, particularly John Gierach." --Hungry Horse News

"Pete Fromm may crave solitude but he's delightful company on the page. The Names of the Stars is an inspiring book brimming with wilderness adventures and executed with a pleasing mix of action, observation and rumination. In Fromm's hands, a violent rainstorm reads like a transcendent gift and a face-to-face bear encounter like good comedy. I finished his memoir admiring not only his lucid prose but the wild life he's chosen." --Jim Lynch, author of Before the Wind

"With The Names of the Stars, Pete Fromm's tough, supple, and lyrical prose shows, once again, the depth of his wisdom and the size of his heart. As a reflection on the natural world, which seems so remote to so many of us, there is much to learn; as an honest memoir of a man at the plumb-center of his life, there is much to recognize. Fromm's return from a Life in the Wilds has in no way tamed his talent." --Lance Weller, author of Wilderness

"Pete Fromm is a talent to watch." --Ivan Doig, author of Last Bus to Wisdom

"I read Pete Fromm with admiration for the vigor of his well-made writing and for his generous heart." ―Tom McGuane, author of Cloudbursts

"Pete Fromm's good work is our good fortune." --William Kittredge, author of The Next Rodeo

"Fromm's finely tuned reflections on this small but fully inhabited piece of the backwoods make this an adventure worth savoring." --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for If Not For This

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award

"There is wisdom and tenacity and sass in this book. There is such candor and such sadness. There is so much love. Sooner or later, the reader will realize that the story of Dalt and Maddy has a great deal in common with his or her own life." --Seattle Times

"If Not for This is, at its core, a story about gravity. It asks unnerving questions about mortality and resilience, and answers them with the example of one couple's devotion." --Shelf Awareness

"This funny, blunt and heartbreaking book, is a love story that shoots the rapids of life." --Bellingham Herald

"A deeply intimate portrait of a heartless illness colliding with a big love." --Missoula Independent

"What do you do when you get everything you most desire in this life, but getting through every day requires you to be a superhero? In Pete Fromm's smart, gorgeous, uplifting and heartbreaking new novel, If Not For This, you consider yourself damn lucky." --Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

"If Not For This is a terrific novel, poignant as hell, but feisty, funny, and romantic, too. Pete Fromm is a powerful, lucid writer, a perfect guide to the unpredictable rivers and people of the interior West, to their deep channels and breathtaking turns." --Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins

"Here, brave and unabashed, is a novel about love, two sweet droll people who become a family, and then--brave and unabashed--real trouble magnifies everything. In If Not For This, Pete Fromm brings us a rich, deeply felt book, so full of kindness and kind people that it's an absolute phenomenon." --Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine

"The brilliance of this novel shines through in the depiction of the love and struggle that exists between Dalton and Maddy and eventually their two children as we see it through Maddy's baffled and infuriated and grateful-but-not-happy-about-it eyes." --Big Sky Journal

"Fromm, four-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award, offers a stringent, emotionally astute work told in vivid, punchy, yet conversational prose." --Library Journal

"A stunning book not just about living with MS but also about love and nature and who we are deep down to our very souls." --BookNAround

"Fromm, who has always had a knack for plumbing the interior lives of eccentric characters, places readers in the head and heart of a funny, brave woman as she navigates this terrifying run down a brutal river. It's a story imbued with such honesty, courage and kindness--the qualities that turn ordinary people into heroes." --Lively Times

"This 'fairy tale with a tragedy' will make you want to stretch your muscles and feel their pull, to breathe in great gulps of air, and to love with the same kind of tenacious determination." --Fiction Writers Review

"Remarkable. Closely observed and heartbreakingly realistic, Maddy and Dalt's story feels true from the first page to the last." --Publishers Weekly

Praise for As Cool As I Am

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

"One of the more startling beautiful and evocative tales of young womanhood . . . Fromm's voice-on loan to Lucy-is provocative, gritty, erotic, hilarious and genuine, and this book is a fresh breath of teen spirit." ―Ron Franscell, San Francisco Chronicle

"This novel packs an emotional punch that sneaks up from behind . . . Fromm creates an engrossing coming-of-age saga that cuts to the essence and shines." ―Seattle Times

"Pete Fromm [came] along with one of the more startlingly beautiful and evocative tales of young womanhood in As Cool As I Am" ―SFGate

"I used to think no one was cooler than me, until I read As Cool As I Am by Pete Fromm. I was humbled to mere mediocrity after meeting 14-year-old Lucy Diamond, a girl torn between growing up and hanging on to simpler days, when her breasts were nonexistent and her hormones hibernating. Over two years, we watch her conquer unknown territory--boys, love and sex--all the while dealing with a mom who's regressing to her teen years and a dad whose absences wreak emotional havoc on the family. Lucy's not cool in the sense that she wears all the right clothes; she's cool because she bravely faces hardships with honesty and aplomb. What could be cooler than that?" --Elle Girl

"This well-written and moving novel explores with sympathy and grace the sexual coming-of-age of a young woman who--as spunky and brave and foolish and foolhardy as she is--will remind some people of . . . Scout Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird." --Nancy Pearl on KUOW Public Radio's "The Beat"

"[As Cool As I Am] is more than just a convincing portrait of a precocious Great Falls teen, all of it delivered in Lucy's first-person voice over two eventful years. Fromm's characters and imagery are so vivid that the book teems with life. Lucy, with her sharp wit and defiant buzz cut, seems like a fully formed character from the novel's first pages, like a real girl who tripped and fell into Fromm's typewriter." --Katie Millbauer, Seattle Weekly

"Fromm's story is infused with cold, isolated settings and lonely, dysfunctional families. Lucy's first-person narrative burns a scary, painful trail through it all." --The Oregonian

"Deceptively simple and so artfully constructed it takes you someplace far deeper than you expected. . . . Lucy Diamond is the kind of woman Johnny Cash might have memorialized with his graveyard croon. . . . A novel of great drive and soul." ―Carlo Wolff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"As Cool As I Am takes me back to growing up in north-central Montana and the time warp that is Great Falls. I've walked around those neighborhoods, and I knew those kids, Lucy and Kenny. Screwed up, bored, rebellious, and full of hormones. Pete just flat out nails it. Montana's great Teenage Wasteland."--Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam

"Pete Fromm writes with such quiet power, such honest authority, that by the end of this novel I felt I had experienced something inevitable, a true and absolutely rare something like an eclipse." ―Mark Spragg, author of Where Rivers Change Direction

"As Cool As I Am is a story so rich and deep and real that it lingers like a memory long after the last page is turned. Pete Fromm has an amazing gift for creating characters we think we know." ―Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean.

"Nicely drawn characters and [a] sharp bitter edge."--Kirkus Reviews

"Spirited and sharply intelligent. All the characters come alive, their stiletto tongues alternately wounding and caressing." ―Publishers Weekly

"It feels kind of ridiculous to shove Pete Fromm into the dreaded category of overlooked writers. Fromm has won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award an unprecedented four times. . . . Altogether, he's published eight books. . . . Yet, outside of the Northwest Passage and his home state of Montana, he's not a household name. . . . [As Cool As I Am] provides a vivid portrait of the confusion and longing of a teenager. Fromm has hit his novelistic stride; here's hoping that he'll find a wider audience soon." --Readerville.com

Praise for How All This Started

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

"Pete Fromm's first novel lays bare the raw nerve of love at the core of a teenage boy's relationship with his mentally ill sister." --The New York Times Book Review

"A gutsy effort in the manner of McGuane and McMurty, full of mesquite, creosote and one girl's violent encounters with the storm of herself." --The Los Angeles Times

"Raw and immediate. Abilene drives what becomes a suspenseful, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive adventure in growing up." --Philadelphia Inquirer

"Pete Fromm's memorable debut novel is about baseball and mental illness, but those are mostly plot devices. It's really about the mystery and terrible beauty of families and learning what you don't know." ―USA Today

"With subtle humor and complete honesty, he portrays the heartbreaking reality of a family dealing with manic depression and a young boy's struggle to come to terms with his hero's failings." ―Booklist (starred review)

"A powerful and promising debut from a diligent writer" --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Night Swimming

"Fromm is the real deal." ―The Portland Oregonian

"Another stellar collection that showcases Fromm's impressive dexterity." ―The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Fromm's works are shrewd reminders of how perfectly art can illuminate the petty indecencies of everyday life." ―The Boston Phoenix

"Pete Fromm not only knows his people, he loves and respects them. Night Swimming is a joy to read." --Chris Offutt, author of Country Dark

"I read Pete Fromm with growing admiration for the vigor of his well-made writing and for his generous heart. Night Swimming finds him at the center of the urgent, affecting world he has made his own." --Thomas McGuane, author of Cloudbursts

"Pete Fromm is one of America's best-kept literary secrets: a superbly skillful stylist and such a masterful storyteller for a writer so young, it hardly seems fair to the rest of us . . . book is boundless, it's not only wonderful writing, but it's supremely entertaining to read." --Thom Jones, author of Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine

"With Night Swimming, Pete Fromm exceeds expectation: great range here, great delicacy, great news." ―Nicholas Delbanco, author of The Years

"Vivid and sharp, written with a startling coolness that only serves to heighten the emotional forcefulness of the narratives themselves."―Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Blood Knot

"Vivid regional details, an interesting compendium of characters and a fluid narrative style generously support this slim volume"--Publishers Weekly

"A first-rate collection; highly recommended" --Library Journal

"This strong debut collection will appeal to fiction readers regardless of their interest in the outdoors"--Booklist

Praise for Dry Rain

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

"Fallible, breakable human beings populate this noteworthy collection of stories by the author of Indian Creek Chronicles . . . The world Fromm traces in these tales, though geographically specific, will be recognizable to all" --Publishers Weekly

"Fromm's latest offers a strong and distinctive vision of contemporary life in the isolated corners of the modern West"--Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Monkey Tag

"Twins Eli and Thad have done almost everything together; but their paths diverge when an accident places one in a wheelchair and makes the other feel responsible. Eli begins to question his faith in God as well as his role as a responsible twin brother in this novel about the many family changes introduced by disability." --Midwest Book Review

Praise for King of the Mountains

"Fromm writes with confidence and knowledge about a variety of experiences in this collection of 18 stories, all set against a vivid background of hunting and fishing" --Publishers Weekly

Praise for Indian Creek Chronicles

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

"A swift, absorbing tale. . .[Fromm] has made me shake out my heavy winter sleeping bags with renewed enthusiasm." ―Chicago Tribune

"With Indian Creek Chronicles, Fromm . . . takes his place among the most promising young writers chronicling the changing perceptions and realities of the American West." ―Los Angeles Times

"Honest, lyrical, and full of a kind of ineffable wonder. Anyone who has ever loved a place truly will surely love this book" ―Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness

"This is a lovely book about honesty, about clear-eyed seeing, and clear-eyed feeling. Each reader will come away from reading this book with a favorite scene that he or she will remember forever." ―Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

"Pete Fromm is an honest, objective, and impeccably focused observer of the natural world, and a superb writer to boot. His sentences have the impact of an ax cleaving chunks of frozen stovewood, and Indian Creek Chronicles is as satisfying as ten cords freshly split and stacked and ready for winter." ―Jerry Dennis, author of A Place on the Water

"A fine tale of adventure and self-sufficiency" ―Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Tall Uncut

"Fromm writes in a lean, straightforward style befitting his subject matter, a barren land and the sometimes equally desolate lives of the people who populate it."―Publishers Weekly

"Fromm, a professional outdoorsman, is at his best when he stays close to what he knows--the way the wild reduces or enlarges human events." --Kirkus Reviews