This registration page is for those who wish to watch the talk in-person at the Library; to attend live via Zoom (and receive a meeting link), CLICK HERE.
Join Ed Davis, author of The Last Professional and rail-rider emeritus, for an exploration of American road stories. He’ll discuss why we’re attracted to stories of great journeys and life on the road; what they can tell us about who we are, how we fit in, and where we belong; and how their structure is perfect for storytelling, going all the way back to Homer’s Odyssey. Ed will draw on works such as John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Jack London’s The Road. Ed will then give a reading from The Last Professional, a gripping road tale set amid the world of thundering freight trains and the vagabonds who ride them, and discuss how it fits into that tradition. Finally, he’ll leave time to answer questions, sign copies of his book, and chat with attendees.
Ed’s visit to Estes Park is part of a whistle-stop cross-country book tour via Amtrak, and his talk is presented in partnership with Macdonald Book Shop
About The Last Professional
Ed knows the world of the rails well, having spent much of his youth exploring this little-known side of America and living as a part-time hobo. From his uniquely American experience, he brings us a tale of two men linked by a yearning to wander and experience a simpler way of life.
In returning to the rails—the river of steel—fifteen years after a childhood trauma that haunts him, young Lynden Hoover gets help from The Duke, an old hobo who calls America’s landscape his home and adheres to a time-honored code. Bonds are formed, and secrets exposed as The Duke flees Short Arm, his relentless and brutal nemesis. The Duke mentors Lynden on life on the tracks, using the vibrant language of the boxcar life gleaned from years riding across great swaths of country. With the help of the trusted “knights of the road,” Lynden and The Duke head to a harrowing climax with Short Arm where generations collide and lives hang in the balance.
Note: The novel contains some descriptions of violence, sexuality, and sexual assault.
About Ed Davis
“From the moment I caught my first freight train as a kid, and felt it literally carry me away, I knew my life would never be the same.”
Ed Davis began his writing career over forty years ago, pausing in boxcars, under streetlamps, and in hobo jungles to capture the beats and rhythms of the road as he caught freight trains and vagabonded around the Pacific Northwest and Canada. As Ed illustrates in Forty Years from Boxcar to Book Launch, The Last Professional was born on the rails. His short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals. His novella, In All Things, and his collection of travel pieces, Road Stories, have both been Amazon Top Ten bestsellers. Ed’s death row thriller, A Matter of Time, was written in real time, twenty-four hours, as the last day of the hero’s life unfolds. His work has appeared in Gris-Gris, New English Review, and The Penman Review among others. Ed and his wife Jan live in Northern California, not far from Jack London’s Beauty Ranch.