Kirkus Lauds ‘First-Rate Action Narrative’ in Adam Bender’s The Wanderer and the New West

The venerable Kirkus Reviews acclaimed The Wanderer and the New West as a “tight, thoughtful work” with “first-rate action narrative” in a starred review of my new novel (paperback available here).

The Kirkus Star is reserved for “books of exceptional merit,” so this is a big honor! The star also means my book will be considered for the Kirkus 2018 prize.

Here’s an excerpt from Kirkus Reviews:

The author’s new novel might be summed up by a line from Rosa’s editorial: “Sometimes it feels like America is spinning in an opposite direction from the planet Earth.” As real-life America spins out of alignment with other nations’ gun-control laws, he critiques its obsession with the Second Amendment and shows how it could threaten to shred the nation’s true founding principles. For example, a mayor replies to a sheriff’s complaints of lawlessness with “the government hasn’t made laws for years!” Ironically, Bender packages his message in a first-rate action narrative, filled with the sort of violence that has attracted gun lovers to pop-culture icons like Rambo and Dirty Harry for decades. In one cinematic scene, for instance, a gang member meets his end when “thunder cracked, and blood burst out the back of his skull.” Such indulgent moments of machismo are balanced by superior characterization, particularly of the Wanderer’s sidekick, Kid Hunter, and 12-year-old bandit Lindsay. The fact that the Wanderer still wears his wedding band and is haunted by the ghost of a woman named Helen connects to a complex, satisfying origin story that includes Breck Ammunition itself. Throughout, Bender proves to be an instructive novelist, challenging American readers with basic scenarios that could very well come to pass: “when you leave the house, you’re checking for your wallet, your keys, your phone, and your gun. Like these are equally essential things for the day ahead.”

A tight, thoughtful work that has much to offer readers on both sides of the gun control debate.

Kirkus previously raved about my first two novels, We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. However, The Wanderer is my first book to earn the coveted Kirkus Star.

But I really want to know what you think! So, to celebrate the Kirkus review and five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite critics, I’ve decided to let loose the Wanderer a little early!

You can order the paperback right now on Amazon. You can also get the eBook edition (EPUB) from Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Scribd and Smashwords. A Kindle version will be available in a few days.

When you’re finished, please leave your own review at the store where you purchased the book and on Goodreads. Thanks for your support!

 

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