Don't Skip Out on Me (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews


Willy Vlautin has never written a cheerful book in his brilliant writing career and Don’t Skip Out on Me is no exception. Young Horace Hopper, half-Paiute, half-Irish, wants to be a championship boxer. Abandoned by his birth parents, he’s been taken in by an elderly rancher and his wife who love him like a son.  They would like nothing better than to have him take over their Nevada ranch. His desire to prove himself in the ring, however, is stronger than his sense of worthiness. The ranch isn’t something he thinks he deserves. In fact, he doesn’t think he deserves much of anything out of life. Your heart will break for Horace as he tries to make his way in the world and you’ll find yourself pulling for him, hoping that he discovers his worth.

— Carol

March 2018 Indie Next List


“Horace Hopper, the Irish-Paiute Indian protagonist in Don't Skip Out on Me, dreams of erasing the shame of childhood abandonment by reinventing himself as a professional boxer. His boss and surrogate father, an elderly sheep rancher, wrestles with the choices of his own history, and does his best to maintain a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Vlautin intertwines the lives and fates of these two men in a work of astonishing beauty and heartbreak, and guides the reader to an ending that is as true and real as it gets. Willy Vlautin has been literature's best-kept secret for far too long. He may well be our own Steinbeck, but with a haunting steel-guitar sensibility all his own.”
— Patrick Millikin, The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, AZ

Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Once again, Willy Vlautin bears witness to a vulnerable population that so often goes unseen and unheard in America. With his characteristically raw narrative style, Vlautin takes the reader into the mind of Horace, a young ranch hand and aspiring boxer who leaves behind an aging and struggling rancher and father figure. If you haven’t already discovered Vlautin, you’re in for a treat.”
— Jeanne Costello, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO

Description


Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in and treated him like a son, intending to leave the ranch in his hands. But Horace, ashamed not only of his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage, but also of the fact his parents did not want him, feels as if he doesn't belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Knowing he needs to make a name for himself, he decides to leave the only loving home he's known to prove his worth as a championship boxer.

Mr. Reese is holding on to a way of life that is no longer sustainable. He's a seventy-two-year-old rancher with a bad back. He's not sure how he'll keep things going without Horace but he knows the boy must find his own way.

To become a champion Horace must change not just the way he eats, trains, and thinks, but who he is. Reinventing himself as Hector Hildago, a scrappy Mexican boxer, he heads to Tucson and begins training and entering fights. His journey brings him to boxing rings across the Southwest and Mexico and finally, to the streets of Las Vegas, where Horace learns he can't change who he is or outrun his destiny.

A beautiful, wrenching portrait of a downtrodden man, Don't Skip Out on Me narrates the struggle to find one's place in a vast and lonely world with profound tenderness, and will make you consider those around you--and yourself--differently.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781432851873
ISBN-10: 143285187X
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: June 27th, 2018
Pages: 415
Language: English