East of Denver

A Strattford County Yarn, Vol. 1

by Gregory Hill


Purchase at Bookshop.org

Winner of the Colorado Book Award

When Stacey “Shakespeare” Williams returns to his family’s farm in eastern Colorado to bury his dead cat, he finds his widowed and senile father, Emmett, living in squalor. There’s no money, the land is fallow, and a local banker has cheated his father out of the majority of the farm equipment and his beloved Cessna.

With no job and no prospects, Shakespeare suddenly finds himself caretaker to both his dad and the farm and drawn into an unlikely clique of former classmates: Vaughn Atkins, a paraplegic confined to his mother’s basement; Clarissa McPhail, an overweight anorexic who pitches for the local softball team; and longtime bully D.J. Beckman, who now deals drugs in small-town Dorsey. Facing the loss of the farm, Shakespeare hatches a half-serious plot with Emmett and his fellow misfits to rob the very bank that stole their future.

Mixing pathos and humor in equal measure, award-winning East of Denver is an “unflinching novel of rural America,” a poignant, darkly funny tale about a father and son finding their way together as their livelihood inexorably disappears. It is the first in a loose trilogy of comic yarns set on the high plains of Strattford County, Colorado.

“A breezily readable summer novel that not only entertains but also surprises. It explores the dynamics of family relationships without ever stooping to sentimentality, and it’s one of this summer’s most pleasant surprises.”
—Charles Ealy Austin American-Statesman

“All the characters are quirky if not downright bizarre and you never really know how things are going to play out. A witty, snarky, and thoroughly enjoyable read.”
—Leah Sims Portland Book Review

“East of Denver is painstakingly funny — the novel offers a deep, dark look into the real life issues that make society uncomfortable.”
—Kacy Muir The Weekender

“[An] agreeable, offbeat debut novel…A story about a father and son who bond against the odds, with an ending as quirkily satisfying as the rest of the book.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This is writing on a par with that of top-flight black-comic novelists like Sam Lipsyte and Jess Walter, and it deserves to be read.”
—Lev Grossman, bestselling author of The Magicians

“An unflinching novel of rural America.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“A fine first novel from a writer with a great sense of character.”

Categories: , , Product ID: 2926

Additional information


Conundrum Press









5.75 x 8.5

Publication Date

April 2018

The Author

Gregory Hill

Gregory Hill

Gregory Hill was raised on a wheat farm in eastern Colorado. He left for Boulder/Denver as soon as he graduated high school, with zero intention of ever coming back. Twenty-six years later, he lives on that farm with his wife Maureen, writing and making odd music.

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