The Drop Edge of Yonder

The Drop Edge of Yonder Time Out New York s Best Book of A funny inquisitive novel that asks readers to re examine their ideas of the Western frontier and personal freedom Jeffrey Trachtenberg Wall Street Journal Ma

  • Title: The Drop Edge of Yonder
  • Author: Rudolph Wurlitzer
  • ISBN: 9780976389552
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback
  • Time Out New York s 1 Best Book of 2008 A funny, inquisitive novel that asks readers to re examine their ideas of the Western frontier and personal freedom Jeffrey Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal May be the most hallucinogenic western you ll ever catch in the movie house of your mind s eye Erik Davis, Bookforum A picaresque American Book of the Dead in theTime Out New York s 1 Best Book of 2008 A funny, inquisitive novel that asks readers to re examine their ideas of the Western frontier and personal freedom Jeffrey Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal May be the most hallucinogenic western you ll ever catch in the movie house of your mind s eye Erik Davis, Bookforum A picaresque American Book of the Dead in the tradition of Thomas Pynchon, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut and Terry Southern David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review Should be as well known as anything by Cormac McCarthy, Steve Erickson, or Jim Harrison Paul DiFilippo, Barnes Noble Review Rudolph Wurlitzer takes no prisoners An uncompromising, wild, and woolly tale Sam Shepard Sam Beckett with a six gun and a sack of rattlesnakes Gary Indiana Where has Rudy Wurlitzer been for the last fifteen years The mental traveler who gave us Nog and the Two Lane Blacktop screenplay takes another vision quest, this time into the Old American West His mapping of mythic and sacred landscapes and his ability to distinguish between different tribal world views makes this a truly revealing conversation KCRW s BookwormIn his fifth novel, Rudolph Wurlitzer has written a classic tale of the Western frontier and created one of his most memorable characters in Zebulon, a mountain man whose view of life has been challenged by a curse from a mysterious Native American woman whose lover he inadvertently murdered.The Drop Edge of Yonder begins in the mountains of Colorado and ends in the far reaches of the Northwest, a journey that includes the beginnings of a Mexican revolution, a voyage across the Gulf of Mexico to Panama, and up the coast of California to San Francisco and the gold fields Along the trail, Zebulon becomes involved in a series of tragic love triangles, witnesses the death of his mother and father, and confronts the age old questions of life, love, and death.Rudolph Wurlitzer is the author of the novels Nog, Flats, Quake, and Slow Fade, and the nonfiction book, Hard Travel to Sacred Places Among his twelve produced screenplays are Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Two Lane Blacktop, Voyager, Walker, and Little Buddha.

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    About “Rudolph Wurlitzer

    • Rudolph Wurlitzer

      The great grandson of the man who founded the famous music company published his first novel, Nog in 1969 For most of the seventies Wurlitzer worked in Hollywood, writing screenplays His 1971 play 2 Lane Blacktop was filmed by maverick producer Monte Hellman, starring Warren Oates with singer James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson In 1973 he wrote the screenplay for Sam Peckinpah s Western Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, starring Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan.

    593 thoughts on “The Drop Edge of Yonder

    • This is a western, but High Noon or John Wayne it is not. It is much more in the mould of Clint Eastwood's more mystical offerings and it did not surprise me to read that Wurlitzer had started it in the 70s and intended it to be a film; it almost reads like a film script with lots of short scenarios or action sequences. One reviewer has described it as "Sam Beckett with a six-gun and a sack of rattlesnakes". Not sure I would go that far, but it is mystical and it times almost poetic with some go [...]


    • I am not sure why it should be the case, but The Drop Edge of Yonder scratched me right where I itch—constituting, in my estimation, a Lazarillo de Tormes, aged a good baker's dozen of years or more and given a harder edge whilst transplanted forward to a mid-nineteenth century American West with the California Gold Rush in full swing, as related by a less bitter, more facetious Céline, running off a generator pumping out portentous and laconic McCarthyian undercurrents and recurrently ascend [...]


    • The Drop Edge of Yonder is supposed to be an acid western…In the beginning Zebulon is cursed so he lives and dies and resurrects again and again to fulfill the curse…“It was as if he had been through this before, in the same dimly lit cantina with most of the oil lamps burned out, listening to the same restless chords from a bangedup piano with cracked and missing keys, the same row of moose heads with their eyes shot out, the same low murmur of betting and raising, the same slap of shuffl [...]


    • It reads like it's written, kind of a non-stop, fast paced flight and wander through one mystical adventure after another. Set in the Wild West (The Anti-Hero(es) run from the Pacific North West to South America and back again). Wurlitzer kind of uses his characters as vessels to lay out a journey before you. They aren't characters that you can understand or get to know but they are interesting vessels that struggle with intriguing conflicts both within and without (like characters in Myth or Re [...]


    • A twisted western taking place during the Gold Rush, in which a mountain man is cursed to linger between worlds, uncertain if he's alive or dead, floating through dream-like encounters as he sets out towards California, trying to make sense of what is happening to him. Wurlitzer's style of prose grabs you right from the start and only tightens its grip as the pages wear on. The Drop Edge of Yonder is a hangover of a novel, intentionally disorienting the reader with unrelenting amounts of liquor, [...]


    • "you will drift like a blind man between the worlds, not knowing if you are dead or alive, or if the the unseen world exists, or if you're dreaming" - pg. 16"Dreaming was easy, he thought. Being dreamed was the problem." pg. 225"Because I have lost my way, I am hostage to all that floats between the worlds. Including you." pg. 130"Things are not as they appear. Nor are they otherwise. ~ Lankavatran Sutra~ " pg. 7"You've cracked wide open""That's what happens when a crack lets in too much light" [...]


    • This is about a mountain man on the tail end of the trapping exploitation of western north america. Zebulon, the trapper, leaves the colorado area and goes on a search for his Pa in the goldfields of california in 1849. He also goes on the search for more mountain man country, because he doen't like the "hoards" of settlers/travelers moving to the west.This is a really good book, but also very graphic.


    • A mishmash of Western cliches, coincidences, mystic talk, and awkward repetitions, this book is better than it seems to be. It's best when the story is flying free, with characters appearing and disappearing without notice, and with people getting shot up and robbed and laid in between chapters.The book is at its worst when Delilah is around. Yes, she's a collage of cliches like everyone else, but it's not working with her because Wurlitzer gives the reader nothing to experience. And if I ever r [...]


    • My old college roommate nagged me about this one for ages, and I finally got around to picking it up. Now I know that Wurlitzer is probably best-known for his screenplay to Two-Lane Blacktop, which in my mind is one of the most overrated films of all time (putting it in the same shitty, badly aged "counterculture" boat as Easy Rider and Zabriskie Point), which made me a bit skeptical. As did the notion of a "psychedelic" Western. But then I was taken in.It's very much a screenwriter sort of nove [...]


    • A dark, violent and unconventional western from the screen writer of the cult flim Two Lane Blacktop. The Drop Edge of Yonder is full of murder,shoot-outs, sea voyages, indian shamans,whisky and plenty of whores. This ain't your father's John Wayne western.



    • A promising premise that turns into an unbelievable (in a bad way) adventure through Central America, Mexico and California. The central character is mountain man, or so we’re told repeatedly, which apparently means doing incredibly stupid things that leave you beat up, abused and broke. His only real talent seems to be the inability to learn from his mistakes. On top of that, much of the book reads like a police report, with one incredible thing after another treated as just another day. Ther [...]



    • The Drop Edge of Yonder is a western in that it is set on the American frontier during the California gold rush. It is not a western in just about every other aspect.Of course, there’s plenty of senseless violence, thievery, sex, gambling, and drinking to satisfy anyone pining after America’s glorious past, but from the very beginning the novel sets out to do something different—to give us a sense of the underlying worldviews that come with living in a barren, untamed landscape. The epigra [...]


    • the winter that zebulon set his traps along the gila river had been colder than any he had experienced, leaving him with two frostbitten toes, an arrow wound in his shoulder from a crow war party, and, to top it all off, the unexpected arrival of two frozen figures stumbling more dead than alive into his cabin in the middle of a spring blizzard.1st sentence in the drop edge of yondernever read any by wurlitzergood name, hey? sounds musickalading this one in conjunction with williams's butcher's [...]


    • This is a novel for fans of Jodorowsky’s surreal Western El Topo, Monte Helleman’s existential Westerns The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind and especially Jim Jarmusch’s crazy Western Dead Man, which has its origins with a script Wurlitzer wrote and later turned into this book. In many ways it would be easy to describe this as an anti-Western, eschewing as it does the familiar tropes of quick-draw duels and drive-by shootings on horseback. But really it’s quintessentially Western, exa [...]


    • I suspect that when the movie THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY screened in 1903 it would hardly have dawned on anyone to address the myth of the American West as myth. It was still Fresh. And the 19th century didn't exactly cleanly conclude in 1900. But by the time THE DROP EDGE OF YONDER appeared in 2007, the American West was steadfastly a mythical realm. It would then rightfully not provoke much surprise that Rudolph Wurlitzer's waaaay-beyond-concerns-of-revisionism Western is a feverish picaresque ca [...]




    • PENG! Schon beim Aufschlagen von Zebulon weiß der Leser, dass er ein ganz spezielles Buch vor sich hat, denn auf der fünften Seite findet sich tatsächlich ein Einschussloch. Oha, ein Western, dachte ich und war echt gespannt. Meine Western-Erfahrungen beschränken sich nämlich auf Winnetou und Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod. Auf meinem Blog ist dies die erste Rezension zu einem Western. Und was soll ich sagen? Ich denke, in den nächsten Monaten könnte der eine oder andere Western hinzukommen. [...]


    • Ein Western. Gut - ich bin kein Fan des Genres. Und nach "Zebulon" werde ich es wohl auch nicht mehr werdenDer Nicht-Held / Held des mystischen Dramas ist Zebulon Shook, ein Mann mit nur einem Prinzip: Kein Prinzip zu haben. Gleich zu Beginn lernen wir seinen einzigen Charakterzug näher kennen und dürfen dabei sein, wenn er sexuell mit einer Frau eines Freundes aktiv wird, was denn auch gleich mit gröbsten Brutalitäten, zwei Toten und einem Fluch endet, der das "Mystery"-Element in den Weste [...]


    • Screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer novelized his unrealized screenplay for a fantastical western. This is Drop Edge of Yonder. (Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man is claimed to be the screenplay's unsanctioned execution. I would say that the dream-like, hallucinatory atmosphere of Dead Man does have a similar atmosphere.) The novel's descriptive style reads like a script, with direct statements of events and settings, which the reader is responsible for filling in with detail, art direction and character motiv [...]


    • I'm reading books for a lit contest, and this was the first one I picked off the pile. Admit that the subject matter was enticing -- mountain men, tricksters, card sharks, archetypal beauties, ship travel, the wild wild South, Central and Western American. Really, I am through reading about stuff I already know, like slowly spoiling relationships, saturated childhoods, frustration, boredom and general unhappiness. The Drop Edge of Yonder is the definition of "yarn." It unravels and unravels, goi [...]


    • "Quien es?" The same scene is reenacted over and over again in this hallucinatory Western. Or is it?Wurlitzer examines the nature of consciousness, and human identity in this saga of Zebulon Shook and his quest to find the woman who (through no fault of her own) is destined to betray him. If this sounds like a bloodless storytelling exercise, it isn't. Bags of rattlesnakes, out of tune barroom pianos, saloon gunfights, exotic locales, ghosts, potlaches, supremely bad parenting and rivers of whis [...]


    • Yet another wonderfully strange and completely engrossing saga from Rudy Wurlitzer. The Drop Edge of Yonder charts the course of Zebulon Shook, a Mountain West fur trader doomed to wander much of North America on a vision quest to reclaim his soul. This theme of purgatory, of existing between worlds, of undertaking a great journey in order to seek out one's identity is a defining chronicle of the American West in all its horror and beauty. "¿Quien es?" Zebulon is asked at every turn. We, too, m [...]


    • I was all prepared to riff on there being so many great modern Westerns (a generally overlooked genre). That is still true of "The Drop Edge of Yonder", but this book in the last 100 pages, wanders off the reservation -way, way off. It is sort of a drug addled, mystical, zen, quantum alternative hokum tale. I was totally with it until the last twenty five pages when the novelty became simply repetitive gobble-de-gook. Brilliantly creative morphing into a disappointing scramble.


    • Wow. This is based on Wurlizter's screenplay "Zebulon" from the 70s that was never made into a film, but inspired Jim Jarmusch to make one of my favorite films of all time "Dead Man". This book is a wild, bloody, surreal ride with a bonified "Mountain Man", Zebulon Shook. Zebulon takes you through the Rockies, Mexico, Central America, California and the Pacific NW in the old days of the frontier West. It is a strange trip indeed.


    • This book was interesting but definitely overly long. Also I disliked the strong undercurrent of Beat style machismo, I swear like four times is the the sentence, "he thrust into her with such violence" "he entered her with such violence" The writing is interesting and I like the ideas in the book but I felt like a lot of the dialogue wasn't actually convincingly written in the idiom of the old west. Anyway, I would like to read other books by this guy.


    • I kind of hated this book. It wasn't terrible but i just saw absolutely no reason to keep reading it, and i started highlighting things that were stupid rather than things that i liked, which is never a good sign. really just a mediocre effort all around, and i only made it 50% through.Don't make me dig up examples. i just don't have the energy for disliking things like I used to.


    • dark and edgy western with exotic and intriguing characters. i was taken by surprise at how rich this book turned out to be. it's a hard scrabble life for everybody back in the day, from trappers to whores, they're all just trying to get by. you can trust with anyone with your horse either. always like to have a little san fran gold rush thrown in there too.


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