Eddie Plum, who insists he’s been unjustifiably committed to a California psychiatric hospital, manages to finally escape after fourteen years of incarceration to start his life anew. On the run, he holes up in a sheltered barrio on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean owned by his wealthy but unsympathetic father. Here he meets Sweets, the telepathic dog, laments the loss of Sofia, his madhouse lover, and plays the horses at the Del Mar Racetrack. Eventually he meets up with an old friend, Shelly Hubbard, a fellow horseplayer, record collector/dealer, and hardcore loner, who tells him about his brother, Donny, dead at the age of eighteen from a tragic dive off a thirty-foot La Jolla sea cliff known as the Clam. Eddie discovers a family secret and wants to help, but by then he’s already embroiled in the psychotic incident with the Tijuana prostitutes, the madhouse lover, and the police, who are hot on his tail. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride has nothing on Whirlaway.
Poe Ballantine is the most soulful, insightful, funny, and altogether luminous “under-known” writer in America. He knocks my socks off, even when I’m barefoot.
- TOM ROBBINS
- Author of Tibetan Peach Pie
Poe Ballantine is brilliant.
- CHERYL STRAYED
- Author of Wild
Whirlaway is a fever dream of my favorite things: horse racing, records, booze, insanity, and women. What a strange and crazed comedic ride. Ballantine’s writing is like no other.
- WILLY VLAUTIN
- Author of The Free
Like David Sedaris, he is an American outsider with insane comedic and storytelling gifts.
- MARION WINIK
- Author of Above Us Only Sky and NPR Correspondent
Let me tell you somethin’ true, people: Poe Ballantine is the best American writer alive that you’ve definitely never heard of.
- SETH MARKO
- The Book Catapult
Hoping that the secret of Poe Ballantine stays secret no longer.
- SCOTT PARKER
- Minneapolis Star Tribune
If you see [Poe Ballantine’s] name in a byline, read it.
- JACK WATERS
- UVU Review
Poe Ballantine currently lives in Chadron, Nebraska. The documentary version of his memoir Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, won the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival Hot Doc Award as well as the Big Sky award, given to the film that captures the spirit of the American West. Michael Moore included the film at the Traverse City Film Festival and it was also a finalist for the Philadelphia Geek Award. Ballantine’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Sun, Kenyon Review, and The Coal City Review. In addition to garnering numerous Pushcart and O. Henry nominations, Mr. Ballantine’s work has been included in the anthologies The Best American Short Stories 1998 and The Best American Essays 2006.
- Hawthorne Books
- 2201 NE 23rd Avenue, Third Floor, Portland, OR 97212
Hawthorne Books is distributed by PGW (800-788-3213 / www.pgw.com).