Conundrum Press

The Western Lonesome Society

July 3rd, 2015  |  Published in Fiction, New Releases, Robert Garner McBrearty

9781942280125-Perfect_FRENCHFLAPS.inddNow available everywhere fine books are sold!

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Read a sample chapter here.

Evoking the Western drama of Cormac McCarthy, the family sensibility of Kent Haruf, and the wacky, magical humor of Christopher Moore, McBrearty displays his storytelling prowess and wit in his debut novel.

In this hilarious, poignant, over-the-top Western, Jim O’Brien writes the quixotic saga of his ancestors who grew up with a tribe of Comanches. As his grip on reality loosens, O’Brien weaves into the tale modern day stalkers, drug dealers, secret agents, strippers, a mad linguist, an imaginary therapist, Ernest Hemingway, and an RV trip through the soul of the West. Having been displaced, each of the characters must embark on the great American quest for a place to truly call home.

Cover art by Shannon Faber.

About the author

Robert Garner McBrearty’s stories have been anthologized in the Pushcart Prize collection and widely published in literary journals that include the North American Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Narrative Magazine, StoryQuarterly, and Mississippi Review. Robert’s stories have been selected for performances at Stories on Stage in Denver, and at Arts and Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art. Other awards include fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass., and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award. He is the author of two other story collections, Let the Birds Drink in Peace and A Night at the Y.

Praise for McBrearty

“Robert McBrearty’s stories occupy a fascinating world where the daft becomes heartfelt, the dangerous becomes ordinary, and the ordinary becomes downright odd- and where the act of writing is appropriately worthy of awe. A world, in other words, seen through a pane of absurdist old glass.”
—David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

“The Western Lonesome Society is a thing of beauty, a house with many rooms, all built of humor and pathos. I don’t know what to call it, comic novel or surreal novella, or a genre all its own, a literary tall tale.  McBrearty’s work shows an extraordinary imagination and a deeply felt love for the written word.”
—Barry Kitterman, NEA Fellowship Winner, author of The Baker’s Boy and From the San Joaquin

“His writing is always lovely and down-to-earth and his exuberant sense of humor blends beautifully with the very serious human realities underlying his tales….Robert’s stories deliver what I think all great stories do: they illuminate what’s universal in our shared human experience.” —Anthony Powell, Artistic Director, Stories on Stage

“If you tossed some Richard Brautigan, a little Charles Bukowski, maybe a dash of Walker Percy into a blender, you might get a cocktail like this.”  —Vancouver Province

“McBrearty has a flair for the comic.”  —Chicago Tribune

“Every now and then one encounters a book whose every sentence is so finely crafted as to approach perfection.”  —Rocky Mountain News

“He writes with great heart and can play all the notes on the scale of humor.” —Jenny Shank, New West

“McBrearty writes with deep compassion for his characters, and while his stories are often wryly amusing, they leave a pleasantly melancholy aftertaste.” —Clay Evans, Boulder Daily Camera

“The quirky, self-dramatizing characters make good progress toward redemption, or at least manage to laugh in the face of their anxieties.”  —Publisher’s Weekly

“It’s this superb mix of the dark and comic, interwoven seamlessly into the fabric of his fiction, that establishes McBrearty as a master stylist in his work as a whole.” —Prairie Schooner

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