A vibrant, creative, youthful yarn about personal freedom and self-discovery played out against an American West backdrop.


An adventure tale charts the spiritual and personal evolution of an uneasy former engineer.

Kleinke’s (Catching Babies, 2011, etc.) novel centers on the wanderlust plaguing a man who, at 37, flees “the steady grind of a corporate job Back East to the wild blur of the mountains Out West” to embrace his love of the outdoors. After the company he works for is sold and he ends his nine-year marriage, Jack moves west to realize his dream of living on his own in nature: “No wife, no job, no kids, no worries, just me, the earth, the sky, and time.” He settles in Dudeville, a Colorado ski town that he was introduced to through friends. As Jack crests numerous mountaintops, Kleinke writes compassionately and poetically about his protagonist’s uncanny detection of a spiritual presence guiding him, an “unnamed and unfiltered, indescribable but unmistakable” deity embodying the euphoric feeling of freedom in nature. Other characters drift in and out of Jack’s orbit, including Jill, his sometime girlfriend, and climbing pal Danny, while the scenery oscillates from snowboarding on the ski slopes and ascending mountains to facing the melodrama of Dudeville’s hangout bar. Kleinke fleshes out Jack’s character with memories of his bruised childhood at the hands of a drunken father and a mother hobbled by debilitating pain. Yet the author leavens this with episodes involving jam bands, a pack of wolves, pot smoking and Ecstasy, sex, and plenty of free-flowing, “dude”-laden dialogue, which all blurs together as the narrative ebbs and flows. The gang scales the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada and moves across the Arizona desert canyons and the scorched Wyoming plains, inviting further spiritual awakenings and opportunities for reflection and inner healing for Jack. But it will be the interpersonal swirl of youthful histrionics, beer gulping, and high-fives that will keep readers who enjoy the lighter side of Kleinke’s bro-fiction entertained. Nature lovers and adventure travelers will certainly appreciate the author’s lush, descriptive prose and vivid action scenes, most notably when focused on Jack’s love of the natural world, his aloneness within it, and the breathless beauty surrounding him when atop a mountain glazed in snow and dazzling sunlight. His restlessness resumes by the story’s conclusion, leaving the engine running for further possible escapades on the slopes and beyond.

A vibrant, creative, youthful yarn about personal freedom and self-discovery played out against an American West backdrop.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-97776-7

Page Count: 433

Publisher: Bayamet LLC

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2017

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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