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“Simply the best novel of the 1960s”


Now in Paperback !
Only Seven Bucks!
JHK’s Three-Act Play
A log mansion in the Adirondack Mountains…
A big family on the run…
A nation in peril…


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The fourth and final book of the World Made By Hand series.

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Battenkill Books (autographed by the Author) |  Northshire Books Amazon


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JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


 

Excerpt from The Fall of the Ancients

Excerpt

The Fall of the Ancients

Ponsonby Hall, a heap of red sandstone in the imposing Richardsonian Romanesque style, all turrets, arches and pointy finials, with a ponderous rusticated gray granite base, came into view among the pines and birches as the Greenaway family — Robert, Evelyn and son Jeffrey — swung up the great curving driveway in their rented Chevrolet. The family had driven 279 miles from Manhattan to the wilds of New Hampshire that September day of the year 1963 to deposit Jeff in a boarding school for boys deemed to be “thriving indifferently,” as the advertisement in the back pages of The Times Sunday Magazine put it.

The Greenaway boy had behaved not just badly but quite spectacularly badly in the year arcing toward his upcoming twelfth birthday. He’d run away from home two days before Christmas. He’d gone amok at a penthouse birthday party for a classmate enemy and destroyed a lot of personal property (the boy’s presents, the cake). He’d taken to sneaking out of the apartment on East 79th Street late at night to consort at the Channel Five TV studio with the nut-case known as Count Zackuloff, who hosted the midnight horror movie. And there was the matter of his recently concluded season at the suddenly defunct Camp Timahoe — not Jeff’s fault, really, but another ominous thread of misadventure in a childhood career that had come to seem oddly accursed.

Being Return Day, the campus was thronged with other parents depositing their offspring for the fall term. The Greenaways parked in a space just vacated by a Cadillac the size of a ferryboat. A little way ahead, a maroon English Bentley motorcar pulled into the yawning porte-cochère. A door opened and a red-headed boy came tumbling out, shoved by a gray trouser leg that terminated in a black wingtip shoe. Seconds later, a leather suitcase flew out, knocking the boy down again just as he’d pulled himself to his knees. Then the fine car sped off. The boy, seventeen and in the Sixth Form (or Grade 12), dusted himself off and disappeared with his bag inside the Great Hall, as the building was called….