Tom Hall is one of those rare books which qualifies as a Young Adult novel as well as a challenging read for adults. In this coming-of-age work, twelve-year-old Tom Hall must accompany his sick father to a tuberculosis sanitarium in Arizona. The year is 1945, and Eddie, Tom’s father, calls the magic mountain “a place where a bunch of men wait to die.” Tom discovers the world of the Arizona back country, witnesses a savage beating of an American Indian friend, and comes to recognize the awful finality of a terminal illness. He and his father move to Los Angeles with Larry, Eddie’s nurse from the sanitarium, and Tom encounters new experiences. He learns about beach life, about survival on the streets, about carnivals and horse races; he skips school and rides the electric streetcars, searching for meaning in a life that seems to be on hold, both frightening and exciting. The startling conclusion of this story will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned.
Russell Hill is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Allen Poe prize. His books, Lucy Boomer and The Lord God Bird have been optioned for film, and his work has been translated into French, German and Polish. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area, is married, and has three grown children. He is an avid fly fisher and his book, The Search for Sheepheaven Trout has become a “cult classic” among fly fishers.
You can visit his writing at russellhillwriter.wordpress.
Other books by Russell Hill:
Letters from the Mines (poetry)
The Search for Sheepheaven Trout (essays)
The Heeler (short stories)
The Edge of the Earth (originally titled Cold Creek Cash Store)
The Lord God Bird
The Dog Sox