The Badlands Saloon

An Illustrated Novel

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A one-of-a-kind, fully-illustrated debut novel about one rest- less and curious young man’s summer spent in a small North Dakota town—a meditation on a time in life when you don’t so much unfold the map as start to draw it.

As written and painted by Jonathan Twingley, this beautifully illustrated semi-autobiographical novel is a paean to the America that Jack Kerouac explored and Joseph Mitchell and Walt Whitman celebrated. Set in a small town nestled in the badlands of North Dakota, this coming-of-age novel paints a loving portrait of oddball characters, the down-and-out, the ordinary, the outcasts, and the oft-ignored.

Jonny is a dreamer, content wherever he is, as long as he has his sketchpad, paints, and paintbrushes. After a year in New York City attending art school, he escapes to the wide-open oasis of North Dakota. Jonny’s home-away-from-home is The Badlands Saloon, the local watering hole. There, he meets Willie Beck, the hyperactive elderly man who doesn’t seem to talk so much as explode into speech; Jimmy Threepence, who likes to sing old English songs at the top of his lungs; Boochie, a convicted murderer; and Lacy, a Native American woman who is an intoxicating free spirit. Though Jonny spends his nights in the Saloon, he spends his days riding his bike through the local hills and sketching the tourists.

Featuring eye-catching full-color illustrations that bring to life the novel’s landscape and characters, The Badlands Saloon is a unique American novel.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439165775 | 
  • November 2010
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List Price $16.99
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Video

Author Jonathan Twingley Talks About His New Book Badlands Saloon

Author Jonathan Twingley explains the origin of his coming-of-age tale Badlands Saloon.

Read an Excerpt

Rooftop Cocktail Parties

My grandma had an uncle who lived to be nearly a hundred years old. His name was Abraham Running and he never had a regular job, he never married and he didn’t have any kids. Abraham Running had no conventional role in the world, and he certainly wouldn’t have fared very well in the world we live in now. Uncle Abe was a strange kind of character—a Bible-beater who never went to church, a hand-rolling cigarette smoker, a hot-dog-eater and he only ever took a bath when he absolutely had to. He made a slim living as a painter, but not for galleries or museums. Abraham painted barns and houses... see more

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