Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Man Who Came and Went by Joe Stillman -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Welcome back to Book Beginnings on Fridays, where participants share the opening sentence (or so) of the book they are reading this week. You can also share from a book you want to highlight just because it caught your fancy.

Before I can start this story, I have to tell you something that happened near the end of it.
-- from The Man Who Came and Went by Joe Stillman.

The Man Who Came and Went is a new type of Western, a character-driven story with elements of magical realism, fantasy, and metaphysics. 


Please add the link to your Book Beginning post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings. Thanks!

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From The Man Who Came and Went:
When Harold wrote about the encounter, he included the part where he and his cousin Marguerite outside Maybelle's diner. He wrote that he was skeptical about some supposedly mind-reading grill cook, but that he suddenly had an opening that morning and decided to go where the muse sent him.

The Man Who Came and Went, a novel of the new west, is a magically realistic story for the modern era that will tease your understanding and beliefs, and draw you into the mysteries of the universe, from the brilliant mind of Joe Stillman, acclaimed Academy Award nominated co-writer of "Shrek."

Fifteen-year-old Belutha Mariah, our storyteller, is the oldest of three kids from three different fathers. Her life's goal is to keep her dysfunctional mom, Maybell, from procreating yet again and then to leave the coffin-sized town of Hadley, Arizona the second she graduates high school.

Along comes the new grill cook at Maybell's Diner, Bill Bill, a mysterious drifter with the ability to mind-read orders. As word spreads in Hadley and beyond, the curious and desperate pour into this small desert town to eat at Maybell's.

Some believe Bill knows the secrets of the universe.

Belutha figures he's probably nuts. But his cooking starts to transform the lives of locals and visitors, and Belutha finds her angry heart opening, as Bill begins to show her the porous boundary between this life and what comes after.

In a normal American town, something new and strange, and yet achingly familiar, begins to unfold.


  1. I hate stories that tease us with something from the ending near the beginning. I hope that's not what that first line is setting us up for.

  2. This sounds so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oooh, this sounds like not your ordinary Western. I'll read it! Thank you for sharing.

  4. That's a great first line! I hope you enjoy it. Have a wonderful weekend!


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