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Books by James Howard Kunstler

Too Much Magic
Manhattan Gothic
A Christmas Orphan
The Witch of Hebron
World Made by Hand
The Long Emergency
The City In Mind
Home From Nowhere
The Geography of Nowhere
Maggie Darling
Other books...


Order Manhattan GothicJames Howard Kunstler's charming tale takes us back to an age when New York City was a natural playground for a little boy and his own, personal vampire hero -- a time when it seemed possible that all of our dreams could come true.

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The nationally best-selling author of "The Long Emergency" expands on his alarming argument that our oil-addicted, technology-dependent society is on the brink of collapse—that the long emergency has already begun. Published by the Atlantic Monthly Press in July 2012. (Read more.)

"Followers of Kunstler's writings and attendees of his many lecture appearances will recognize the take-no-prisoners style, the harsh invective directed at familiar targets—cars, planes, skyscrapers, Wall Street, suburbia—and the pleas on behalf of walkable cities, trains and farms built to human scale. The added feature here is the scorn he directs at those who refuse to recognize the severity and dimensions of the crisis he describes."

Kirkus Review,
May 15, 2012

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Order A Christmas OrphanThis wonderful story of youth, misunderstanding, adventure and love is the perfect parable for the holiday season.

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Nothshire Bookstore
www.northshire.com

 

 

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Order The Witch of HebronA novel of America's post-oil future.

"In the sequel to his bestselling World Made by Hand, Kunstler delivers another grim and suspenseful novel set in a post-oil world without electricity, Internet, or national order."

-- Publishers Weekly

TheWitchofHebron.com

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Order World Made By HandA novel of America's post-oil future.

"A poignant, provocatively convincing novel"

-- Alan Weisman
The World Without Us

WorldMadeByHand.com

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The global oil predicament, climate change, and other shocks to the system, with implications for how we will live in the decades ahead. Published by the Atlantic Monthly Press in April 2005. Paperback coming in April 2006.

"What sets The Long Emergency apart from numerous other books on this theme is its comprehensive sweep—its powerful integration of science, technology, economics, finance, international politics and social change—along with a fascinating attempt to peer into a chaotic future. And Kunstler is such a compelling, fast-paced and sometimes eloquent writer that the book is hard to put down.

--David Ehrenfeld
The American Scientist

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An anthology composed for your reading pleasure.  Louis-Napoleon's renovation of Paris; the fiascos of contemporary Atlanta and Las Vegas; Berlin's travails in the 20th century; Cortes Versus the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan; In search of the classical in Rome; and more.  Published January 2002.


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Home From Nowhere explores the growing movement across America to restore the physical dwelling place of our civilization. It offers real hope for a nation yearning to live in authentic places worth caring about.

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The Geography of Nowhere, my first non-fiction book on the tragic sprawlscape of cartoon architecture, junked cities, and ravaged countryside where we live and work. I argued that the mess we've made of our everyday environment was not merely the symptom of a troubled culture, but one of the primary causes of our troubles. "We created a landscape of scary places, and we became a nation of scary people."

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Maggie Darling, A Modern romance. This was my 'Martha Stewart' novel, a lot of fun to write. Set in Connecticut, New York City, and Vermont, the story follows the romantic misadventures of a media goddess celebrated for her domestic skills. It begins at a Christmas Eve party among the wealthy and celebrateded, and ends in a Hartford crack house. It didn't get a very fair shake from the reviewers who (naturally) failed to notice that it was funny. One of my personal favorites.

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Other Books by JHK

(Mostly out of print but some are available through Amazon and the Advanced Book Exchange)

     You wouldn't know it, but I actually published a whole bale of novels before I started writing nonfiction about architecture and our human ecology. All of the novels are currently out-of-print. You have to search the flea markets, the used bookshops, or the discontinued merchandise bin of the K-mart if you want to find them.  Some are better than others -- it sometimes seems that I wrote them in another life. But for those of you who are interested, here's a roster of them:

The Wampanaki Tales
Doubleday 1979
Kids at a summer camp. Has it's moments but, hey, it's a first novel. Probably a collector's item.

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The Life of Byron Janes
WW Norton 1983
Story of a rock and roll star thought to be dead but discovered living an anonymous and reclusive life in a back corner of New England. The story cuts back and forth between the 1960s and the then-present day of the narration, which is in the voice of a music journalist who discovers the rocker. It's a pretty good description of an era now fading deep into the past. Scenes of original Woodstock festival.  A decent literary performance, but the publisher had no idea how to bring it to the public's attention.

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A Clown in the Moonlight
St Martin's Press 1981

A marriage farce set on the campus of an artsy progressive Vermont college. Originally titled "Brain Damge: A Love Story" but the publisher made me change it. (They thought it evoked an unsavory image of retards in love.)  The few critics who reviewed it clobbered me for being "just another mouthy college prof in a bad marriage."  Fact was, I'd never taught in a college or been married when I wrote the book, but I could see in hindsight what a tactical career error it was. Amusing if you can unearth a copy.

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An Embarrassment of Riches
Dial Press 1985
A favorite.  Tour de force historical comedy (1803) about two bumbling botonists sent into the southern wilderness by Thomas Jefferson to look for something that isn't there. In the spirit of Louis and Clark (who make cameo appearences).  Replete with wild Indians, river rirates, the kidnapped son of Louis XVI, the lost colony of Roanoke, and much more.  Still cracks me up.

The cover shown here is the trashy cover art of the paperback edition. The hardcover was much cooler -- an old woodcut of a woman wrestling with an alligator. Will post that soon....

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The Halloween Ball
Bantam 1987
Another favorite. The story takes place from dawn until late at night on Halloween in an upstate New York town and revolves sort of cinematically around the lives of four characters in their 30s -- all men -- who are colliding with the task of finally growing up one way or another.  A serious tale, but full of funny gags and clever scenes.  Strangers keep optioning it for the movies but it hasn't been made into one yet.

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Thunder Island
Bantam 1989
By the time I composed this novel, I was getting a little burnt out from writing one after another to pay the light bill. The story takes place at a Hamptons-like beach resort town in 1967.  It's about what happens to a New York City kid the summer after he graduates from high school, with the Vietnam War looming in the background.  Surfing, drugs, young love.  

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Blood Solstice
Doubleday 1986
Story about a newspaper reporter who gets mixed up with religious cult killers. Set in a small, mid-American city.  It's narrated by the reporter and has a nice wacky, hapless quality about it. Loosely based on my own experience as a reporter back in the 1970s, when I specialized in investigating religious cult groups. I got to know quite a few of them and how they operated.

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The Hunt
Tor Books 1988
If the creature is just a legend, then what is trying to kill you?

Ha...!
I wrote this novel back in 1975 when I worked for Rolling Stone in San Francisco, getting up at four o'clock in the morning to work on it. I couldn't sell the damn thing until 1986 or so -- and then only to a trashy pulp horror publisher. It was originally titled Bagging Bigfoot, which gave you a better idea of its rather antic flavor. One of my biggest career regrets is letting the publishers make me change the title. Sigh....

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