In his seventh novel, Craig departs contemporary Montana and heads to a river town in western Kentucky, one where a beleaguered newspaper editor is about to confront all that he is, and all he never imagined he might be.
Carson McCullough has given his career to a singular pursuit—putting out a small daily newspaper that keeps his employees engaged and his hometown informed. But as time and technology conspire against him, Carson’s Argus-Dispatch is shuttered by an owner with a different view of its future.
Stung by the abrupt end of his career and burdened by regret and grudges, Carson and his one true companion, a yellow Lab named Hector, set out on a road trip. As the miles pile up and Carson erratically drives into the residue of past decisions and the consequences of current actions, he confronts questions of love, faith, self-worth, and, perhaps most pressing, whether he can redefine himself after his identity is stripped away.
In this novel, Craig Lancaster returns to the broad themes of his award-winning work and goes deeper yet, straight into the heart and mind of a good man who has lost his way and is struggling against himself to set things right.
About the book
Release date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Missouri Breaks Press
ISBN-10: 0982782241 (paperback), 0998630500 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0982782248 (paperback), 978-0-9986305-0-2 (hardcover)
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audiobook. Signed hardcover copies are available at Craig’s store.
What the author says
I write fiction, but everybody seems to want to know the truth, so let’s do this thing:
- Is the Argus-Dispatch real? No.
- Is the town real? No.
- Why Kentucky? OK, you’ve stumped me.
Wait, no, you haven’t. Not entirely.
I used to be a newspaperman. And among other places, long ago and far away, I plied my trade at a newspaper not unlike the Argus-Dispatch of Julep Street, in a town not unlike the unnamed town where much of the novel takes place, in a place or more or less situated where Carson McCullough crosses the Ohio River, coming or going.
I suppose I thought of that place because once I left journalism (before it could leave me) I tended to get nostalgic about my younger years in the business, and that often put me in mind of a particular paper in a particular place, where for a while I worked with a bunch of people more or less my age and had a ripping good time doing it. I’m older now, twice as old as I was then, and I remember it well and fondly. Most of us have scattered elsewhere now, and we see each other from time to time on Facebook. Share memories. It’s fun. It’s nice. I’m glad they’re in my life, actively then and passively now.
But for fictional purposes, I thought of other things, too. About the calamitous circumstances facing newspapers today, and the terrible loss we’ll absorb if they’re no longer here. About what might have happened in that long-ago, far-away Kentucky town if I’d stayed and given it my youth and my ambition and my willingness to grow.
I’m not Carson McCullough. He’s not me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know him.
Oh, yes, I do.