All Things Left Wild Cover

All Things Left Wild

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James Wade
Genre: Adventure / Rural Fiction / Coming of Age
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Number of Pages: 304
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All Things Left Wild book cover

After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb’s moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill.

Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice.

Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul.

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PRAISE for All Things Left Wild:
“A debut full of atmosphere and awe. Wade gives emotional depth to his dust-covered characters and creates an image of the American West that is harsh and unforgiving, but — like All Things Left Wild — not without hope.”
Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
“James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for dialogue. All Things Left Wild moves like a coyote across this cracked-earth landscape—relentlessly paced and ambitiously hungry.”
Edgar Award finalist David Joy, When These Mountains Burn

Photo of book with following text below: "James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for Dialogue." - David Joy

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Author James Wade’s Ten Favorite Literary Westerns

The Border Trilogy – This list isn’t in any order, but if it were, this would still be first. Yes, I’m including all three books as one; yes, it’s cheating. But, if I didn’t cheat, there’d be hardly any room left on the list. That’s how good Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy is. It’s the standard by which I measure all other western prose. All the Pretty Horses is a National Book Award winner, The Crossing is arguably the best written of the three, and Cities of the Plain is arguably the most Western of McCarthy’s works.

True Grit – Charles Portis gives us beautiful dialogue, a fast, simple story, and a bad-ass female narrator.

Lonesome Dove – Not the best of McMurtry’s career (more on that later), but undoubtedly the most famous. An epic tale that helped reinvigorate the Western genre.

Close Range – Annie Proulx can do no wrong in my eyes. This is the only story collection on the list, and while all of her collections are Western wonders, Close Range includes her most notable story, “Brokeback Mountain.”

Blood Meridian – The greatest nonstory ever written—is that a thing? McCarthy’s writing here is so powerful, so poetic, that many consider Blood Meridian the greatest Western of all time, despite its lack of plot.

The Big Sky – A. B. Guthrie’s debut is a splendid, well-researched excavation into fur trapping and westward expansion.

Desperadoes – Folks may know Ron Hanson’s name from his more popular novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. And while that is well-crafted work, Desperadoes is the superior choice, in my opinion.

My Antonia – How hard would it be for a woman who speaks little English to come to a new country and then be thrust into the unsettled West and forced to survive? Willa Cather tells us in poetic detail.

The Virginian – I don’t actually think this book is all that great; it’s definitely good, but it makes this list based on being considered the first “Western” by many literary scholars. Just like the first cup of coffee probably wasn’t the best cup ever made, its existence alone is to be revered.

Horseman, Pass By – Larry McMurtry’s debut novel. He was twenty-five. I can’t help but be bitter at the thought of someone so young writing something so brilliant. In my opinion, it’s his finest work.

Bookstagram: photo of book sitting among cowboy boots and a straw cowboy hat and a guitar.

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James Wade Author Photo

ames Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.

TWO WINNERS: A signed copy of All Things Left Wild
JUNE 18-28, 2020
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