Walking in the footsteps of bank robbers and grave diggers, desperados and Indians, brewers and child brides, Alex Capus visits the shells of the disused mining towns that sprang up with the gold rush in the Midwest.
On his journey Capus discovers stories that are a match for any Western – near Salt Wells an American inventor once froze to death in the desert and was discovered with an icicle hanging from his nose; in Skidoo a brawling bartender, Hootch Simpson, was first hanged by the mob, then by the law, before being beheaded during his autopsy; and in the town of Flagstaff, Capus finds that the legendary Route 66 was originally a trail for Edward Fitzgerald Beale’s Camel Corps.
Charming and original, these extraordinary stories vividly brings to life small towns that have long since been abandoned.
JOHN BROWNJOHN is an experienced and versatile literary translator with almost 200 books to his credit. His work has won him critical acclaim and numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (three times), the US PEN, and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for Marcel Beyer’s The Karnau Tapes and Thomas Brussig’s Heroes Like Us.