The Madstone

Product Details
$29.00  $26.97
Little Brown and Company
Publish Date
6.33 X 9.44 X 0.77 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author
Elizabeth Crook has published five previous novels, including The Which Way Tree, The Night Journal, which received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, and Monday, Monday, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014 and winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.
"Elizabeth Crook is already a household name in Texas, but The Madstone should establish her as a national figure, evoking the works of Charles Portis and Larry McMurtry as we go on a harrowing (and sometimes humorous) ride through 1868 Texas."--CrimeReads
"This is a wonder of a novel. The Madstone took me by the hand and didn't let go until the last page. The flow of the singular and captivating narrative voice, the heart-rending love story, and the page-turning suspense are all one of a kind. I will not forget this road trip quest and its endearing characters."--Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
"As thrilling as its predecessor . . . a compelling read on its own terms."--Texas Monthly
"An epic journey across the Lone Star State."--Dallas Morning News
"A beautifully crafted story . . . Benjamin's smart, heartfelt and witty narration makes the story as well as the manner in which Crook brings 1860s Texas vividly to life. Her writing and sense of place are stunning . . . Have tissues handy when you read it."--Buzz Magazine
"A fresh take on the Western novel which should be much admired."--Historical Novel Society
"The Madstone is a wonderful book. The tale that Elizabeth Crook conjures out of the most basic materials--a man goes on a trip, things happen, and the trip becomes a quest--should take its place alongside the very best novels of the American West, a top rank that includes Lonesome Dove, Little Big Man, News of the World, and Blood Meridian. Yes, it's that good; I didn't want it to end. Benjamin Shreve and his compatriots affected me as few characters have in recent years, and I think of them still."--Ben Fountain, National Book Critics Circle Award winner, National Book Award finalist, and New York Times bestselling author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"Elizabeth Crook is a magician of a novelist, bringing the past to life with a tale of epic proportions that must be read to be believed. The voice of Benjamin Shreve stands alone in recent fiction, and all of Crook's characters linger long after you've finished reading. The Madstone is a marvel."--Nathan Harris, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweetness of Water
"It would be unfair to call Elizabeth Crook the true heir to Paulette Jiles, Charles Portis, and Larry McMurtry, because Crook's style is emphatically her own, but I want to anyway because she's just so damn good. The Madstone, one long riveting epistle that reads like music, has a fully formed voice in its young narrator, pitch-perfect dialogue, and wit as dry as a mesquite tree. I would read, and will continue to read, anything Crook writes."--Nathaniel Ian Miller, author of #1 Indie Next selection The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven
Praise for The Which Way Tree:
"A multilayered tale . . . Benjamin Shreve, the teenage narrator of The Which Way Tree, unspools his tale of Civil War-era Texas in a voice that is utterly convincing, consistent, and believable. Crook never slips out of that voice for a moment. This is no small feat given that the tale involves Benjamin's demented half sister, the infamous massacre of Union-sympathizing German immigrants by local Confederates, and a giant panther. Any first-person voice involving a young Southern boy invites comparisons to Huck Finn. But dialects have complexities and Crook appears to be a master of them. Benjamin's voice swings between the rhythms of the Southern hills and the lofty, elevated tone encountered in Twain and contemporary Westerns . . . His speech can switch from hyperbole to understatement in the same sentence--and it is a wonderfully deadpan understatement . . . The language is arresting . . . The Which Way Tree is a commendable and very readable addition to the tale-spinning tradition and its beautiful use of language."--Paulette Jiles, New York Times Book Review
"The Madstone is a treasure: a brilliant, beautiful page-turner of a book. Elizabeth Crook has reimagined the Western, giving us a poignant love story and a riveting road novel. I devoured it--and you will, too."
--Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Double Bind and The Flight Attendant
"Crook has a gift for engaging details . . . The guiding spirit here is Dickens . . . An entertaining, well-paced yarn."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"This epistolary novel will appeal to western and historical fiction readers alike (particularly Lone Star aficionados)."--Booklist
"A wonderfully transporting tale of the Old West."--People Magazine
"Crook has written the perfect adventure to curl up with on some desolate winter night . . . There is something satisfying about being in the presence of such a conscientious protagonist . . . Crook is a master at rustling up competing forces to create cinematic calamities . . . This story gallops madly along from one imperiled moment to another . . . Terrifically entertaining."--Washington Post