Monday, March 15, 2010

"Walking to Gatlinburg"

Howard Frank Mosher is the author of ten novels and a travel memoir. His novel A Stranger in the Kingdom won the New England Book Award for Fiction and was made into a movie, as were his novels Disappearance and Where the Rivers Flow North. He is a recipient of the Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Mosher applied the Page 69 Test to his new book, Walking to Gatlinburg, and reported the following:
On page 69 of my new Civil War novel, Walking to Gatlinburg, 17-year-old Morgan Kinneson, who is doing just that – walking from northern Vermont to the Great Smokies, in search of his older brother who is missing in action in the war – arrives at the Erie Canal. Here he encounters his cousin, Dolton (Dolt) Kinneson:
Dolt caught Morgan up in a crushing bear hug. Then he explained that the Great Western Canal was as far south as he’d gotten on his quest to enlist. Some months ago he’d taken a job with a showboat, whose principal attraction was the gigantic head and jaws of a sperm whale, in which twenty ladies and gentlemen could sit as proud as Jonah and have their daguerreotype made. On the deck several black crewmen were watching the reunion between the cousins.
Yes, indeed, p. 69 of Walking to Gatlinburg is representative of the rest of the novel. Like my other nine novels, this book abounds with unusual characters and high-action events. Morgan himself happens to have acquired an elephant, which winds up pulling Dolton’s whale barge as it’s being chased by another barge commandeered by a psychopathic killer. In its absurdity and weirdness, p. 69 reflects the chaos and senselessness of the war and violence in general, one of the main themes of the book.
Read an excerpt from Walking to Gatlinburg.

Howard Frank Mosher is promoting Walking to Gatlinburg on a 100-city book tour titled “Transforming History into Fiction: the Story of a Born Liar.” Check the itinerary on his website and follow updates on his blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue