book cover of Presidio
Added by 1 of our members

Presidio

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
Set in the 1970s in the vast and arid landscape of the Texas panhandle, this darkly comic and stunningly mature literary debut tells the story of a car thief and his brother who set out to recover some stolen money and inadvertently kidnap a Mennonite girl who has her own reasons for being on the run.

Troy Falconer returns home, after years of working as a solitary car thief, to help his younger brother, Harlan, search for his wife, who has run away with the little money he had. When they steal a station wagon for the journey, the brothers accidentally kidnap Martha Zacharias, a Mennonite girl asleep in the back of the car. Martha turns out to be a stubborn survivor who refuses to be sent home, so together these unlikely road companions attempt to escape across the Mexican border, pursued by the police and Martha's vengeful father.

The story is told partly through Troy's journal, in which he chronicles his encounters with con artists, down-and-outers, and roadside philosophers, people looking for fast money, human connection, or a home long since vanished. The journal details a breakdown that has left Troy unable to function in conventional society; he is reduced to haunting motels, stealing from men roughly his size, living with their possessions in order to have none of his own, and all but disappearing into their identities.

With an addictive plot about a kidnapped child, gorgeously written scenes that probe the soul of the American West, and an austere landscape as real as any character, Presidio packs a powerful punch of anomie, dark humor, pathos, and suspense.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Randy Kennedy's Mexican-American frontier of the 1970s occupies the same dustblown landscape painted by Cormac McCarthy. Car thieves and drug dealers tumble together with Mennonites and luncheonette waitresses—all of them lightened by empty pockets, small dreams, and minimal futures. From these elements Kennedy assembles a gorgeously written narrative of outrunning violence and despair." - Carol Anshaw

"Randy Kennedy writes wonderful prose. He combines the detail and eye of a journalist with the lyricism of a poet. If you want to read about the real deal down in Texas, he's your man." - James Lee Burke

"Randy Kennedy captures the funny yet tragic relentlessness of survival in an unforgiving place. Let's hope he keeps his novelistic cool and brings us much, much more." - Larry McMurtry

"Here is a rich and rare book. Reader, if you like poor Texas boys gone bad (or not bad enough), landscapes so accurate in detail you feel you grew up there, coldly logical Mennonite girls with outcast Manitoban-Mexican papas, magnetic details about old cars, the finer points of an automobile-thieving, and a magisterial use of italics you will want to read this novel through twice in a row as I did. It is a hard picture of the choices offered to poor Texas youths in the 1960s and ’70s. You might say it shakes out as a weird combination of Canterbury Tales, Breaking Bad and À la recherche du temps perdu with a dash of Confederacy of Dunces, but it is brilliantly original. You will laugh, you will cry and you will read it again straight through to enjoy the fine points of marvelous writing. There is nothing out there like Presidio." - Annie Proulx

"A fabulous novel, executed in rare and exquisite language, about two brothers and the tough little girl, (one of the most engaging fictional heroines in recent memory), they accidentally encounter on a hapless journey across Texas to recover some stolen money. Kennedy is truly the literary heir to Cormac McCarthy in his depiction of the vivid characters and sparsely beautiful landscape of the American West." - Dinitia Smith

"An absolute marvel of a novel. Like a nesting doll, it continually uncovers stories within stories, each revealing the depth and humanity of its fascinating cast of characters. Kennedy has given us a wonderfully compelling portrait of the American West in the second half of the twentieth century, full of danger, humor, and surprises." - Ian Stansel


Similar books by other authors

thumb
The Border
(Power of the Dog, book 3)
Don Winslow

Used availability for Randy Kennedy's Presidio

Hardback Editions

February 2019 : USA Library Binding
thumb

Title: Presidio (Thorndike Press Large Print Bill's Bookshelf)
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
ISBN: 1-4328-6076-3 / 978-1-4328-6076-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: Presidio: A Novel
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
ISBN: 1-5011-5386-2 / 978-1-5011-5386-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

August 2019 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: Presidio: A Novel
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
ISBN: 1-5011-5387-0 / 978-1-5011-5387-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

August 2018 : USA Audio CD
thumb

Title: Presidio
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
ISBN: 1-5082-6110-5 / 978-1-5082-6110-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : USA Audio CD
thumb

Title: Presidio: A Novel
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
ISBN: 1-5082-6438-4 / 978-1-5082-6438-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Presidio
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


August 2018 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Presidio
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

August 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Presidio: A Novel
Author(s): Randy Kennedy
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA