Item description for Two Trains Running by Lucius Shepard...
This collection of fact and fiction was inspired by the time science fiction writer Lucius Shepard spent with Missoula Mike, Madcat, and other members of a controversial brotherhood known as the Freight Train Riders of America. Shepard rode the rails throughout the western half of the United States with the disenfranchised, the homeless, the punks, the gangs, and the joy riders for the magazine article "The FTRA Story." That original article is presented here, along with two new hobo novellas, "Over Yonder" and "Jailbait." In "Over Yonder," alcoholic Billy Long Gone finds himself on an unusual train. As Billy travels his health improves and his thinking clears, and he arrives in Yonder-an unlikely paradise where a few hundred hobos live in apparent peace and tranquility. But every paradise has its price, and in Yonder, peace and tranquility breed complacency and startling deaths. "Jailbait" is a hardcore tale of deception, lust, revenge, and murder in the seedy underbelly of rail yards and train hopping. Madcat, who functions best in a whiskey-induced haze, must decide between solitude and companionship when he meets up with Grace, an underaged runaway. Grace, in turn, seeks the security of an older man and the life about which only young girls can dream.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2004
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846231 ISBN13 9781930846234
Availability 0 units.
More About Lucius Shepard
Lucius Shepard is a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award and has also received the Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards for science fiction writing. His work has appeared in "Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Omni, Playboy, "and" Spin. "He is the author of "Green Eyes, A Handbook of American Prayer," and" Life During Wartime, "and the collected stories in "Two Trains Running." He lives in Vancouver, Washington.
Lucius Shepard currently resides in Seattle, in the state of Washington.
Reviews - What do customers think about Two Trains Running?
excellent meditation on otherness Jun 7, 2005
brilliant book. as a former train-hopper, hitchhiker and railroad tramp mr shepards book rings true from start to finish.
the first part of the book is a fascinating piece on the infamous ftra. mr shepard does an exellent job exposing much of the urban myth surrounding that group and lets hobos speak for themselves instead of inserting middle-class psychobabble to explain their strange world.
the last two parts of the book are poignant and moving meditation on what it truly means to be an outcast of our consumer society. told thru fictional characters mr shepard puts back the human face on the hobo. love and redemption is the hobos. as well as pride and dignity.
expected more May 15, 2005
Here's a suggestion: Consider reading the two fiction selections in this book first, then read the essay on the Freight Train Riders of America(FTRA). I read the book cover to cover and I think Lucius Shepard scoops himself by detailing too much in the essay. As a result the fiction stories had less impact. The essay is a fascinating account of his time riding freight trains across America while researching the FTRA, which is rumored to be a highly organized crime ring consisting of hobos operating out of train switch yards across the country. Shepard found little of this organization and many more lost and broken souls. He used this research to craft two stories; Jailbait and Over Yonder. Both are good reads and reminiscent of an inward turning Theodore Sturgeon story. However neither one lived up to my expectations as I had enjoyed other Lucius Shepard stories in the past. Again I think much of the characterization was blunted by the superb descriptions of real people that are found in the earlier essay.
Over Yonder is about Billy Long Gone. A loner that hops a phantom train to a land of hobo limbo where everyone is cured of their physical addictions. He soon realizes that he not much better off than before and in the end he opts for a dangerous ride into the ghoulish unknown. This story has a fantasy element so the entire collection is categorized as science fiction and Fantasy, where Mr. Shepard has produced many works, but it could easily be considered general fiction. Jailbait is about another loner, Madcat, that is on the run from the law. He hooks up with an under aged girl, and first time train rider, who has just seen murder. I liked the way the young girl is portrayed, we don't quite know her motives and Shepard weaves some elements of the divine into her scenes so that the reader is not sure if she is savior or devil. All together good but I expected more.
With realistic dialogue and following flawed characters Apr 3, 2004
Author Lucius Shepard personally experienced life riding the rails when he investigated the Freight Train Riders of America for "Spin" magazine. Two Trains Running is a collection of his fictionalized stories based on the experiences he gained from personally living among a vagabond culture. Gripping, with realistic dialogue and following flawed characters struggling to make sense out of life, Two Trains Running is an unforgettable, highly recommended read that fairly pulses with the raw power of reality.