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MAD BOY: a novel

 

AN ACCOUNT OF HENRY PHIPPS IN THE WAR OF 1812

Denver Post : "Mad Boy is a finely honed literary achievement, beautifully written and as clever as it is memorable... Mad Boy is a great success, a mini-epic in just 238 pages." 

Kirkus Reviews (starred): "[Mad Boy] is a masterpiece of compression without sacrificing character development to the demands of the relentless action and adventure... A wartime coming-of-age story filled with nonstop action and genuine pathos."

Publishers Weekly: "Ten-year-old Henry Phipps can still hear his very recently dead mother talking to him, urging him to bury her at sea with family around. Her dissolute, feckless husband, however, is in debtor’s prison, and her older son Franklin is to face a firing squad for deserting. Henry crams his mother’s corpse into a pickling barrel and sets out to make enough money looting battlefields to free his father. . . A rollicking page turner."

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NEWLY REISSUED IN AN EXPANDED EDITION

IN THE ELECTRIC EDEN

First released in 2003, In the Electric Eden is being reissued by Conundrum Press in a beautiful new edition, expanded with three new stories and a new introduction by the author. 

 

A collection of stories, In the Electric Eden layers themes of technology and human character into a collection of emotionally riveting stories. With a subtle hand Arvin transports readers through history and across America to ten poignant and utterly unforgettable places: a traffic accident in the middle of the heartland; the electrocution of Topsy the elephant at Coney Island at the turn of the century; the backyard of an old recluse; a Marine Corps practice invasion of the Florida beaches; a romantic tryst in a dismal corporate office; the launching of the first manned American hydrogen balloon in the eighteenth century; and more. Constantly aware of how technology shapes the way we interact with each other and experience the world, Arvin uses these original settings and compelling characters to create a moving collection of stories that form a stunning, awe-inspiring whole.

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This brilliant musket blast of a novel is alive with humor, heat and heart. Mad Boy is a tremendous accomplishment.

Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and The Evening Road

 

The richness of Arvin’s historical imagination makes the world of 1812 intimately present. A joyously earthy tale about a fascinating period of American history, Mad Boy combines the luxurious period detail of Wolf Hall with the deadpan comedy of True Grit.

Sandra Newman, author of The Country of Ice Cream Star

Arvin masters his epic story of devastation, conflict, love, and family loyalty, all without a splinter of sentimentality. Mad Boy is a feat of magic.

Erika Krouse, author of Contenders and Come Up and See Me Sometime

[In the Electric Eden] is a showcase for Arvin's skills; the stories span a wide time period, are delivered through narrators young and old, male and female, and move from traditional to experimental styles... The beauty of the stories is in the humanity.

The Oregonian 

​ NICK ARVIN @

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