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Title: The Essential Carl Mahogany
Author: Zach Boddicker
Genre: Fiction, Neo-Western
Publisher: Last Chance Press
Published: March 24, 2017
What can an award-winning Nashville singer-songwriter learn about himself by agreeing to a best-of tour in a beat up old van? If it means getting out from under the thumb of a label that considers him washed up, he’s willing to find out. At least until an ex-lover wants to come along for the ride.
Carl Mahogany’s not your average protagonist. In the practiced drawl of the aging country singer, and echoing Edward Abbey’s Henry Lightcap, Boddicker takes us across the country in an Americana-steeped journey through Mahogany’s roots. Encounters with old friends and lovers, including the Eisenhower Interstate System, a firecracker tenured professor, former bandmates, and a down-to-earth small town mechanic, shake the dust out of Mahogany’s creases to revision his life.
If a lifetime of travel, songwriting and performing equates to learning to work with the monsters inside us, The Essential Carl Mahogany is that journey. Grab a six pack, settle into the cushions, and come along for the ride.
Continue reading to see my review of The Essential Carl Mahogany
I really enjoyed the main character, Carl. He’s so different than what I imagine most songwriters to be like. Carl can’t just sit down and write music for hours on end—he draws inspiration from the most mundane things, and loves to do hard, manual labor. Carl is definitely a strange guy, but I think that’s part of what makes him so likable.
Like most people, Carl is just trying to get/keep his life together. There are many obstacles that he comes across in his journey through life that keep him on his toes.
The Essential Carl Mahogany is unique, funny, and engaging. It’s definitely different from what I usually read, but it was nice to venture into some unknown territory. I give it 3.75/5 stars.
About the Author:
Zach Boddicker grew up living the country life north of Laporte, Colorado. Ever more interested in rock bands and art than hunting, sports and other traditional red-blooded American activities, it was when he finally got his hands on a guitar that his journey into a life of music was catapulted into action.
In his formative years, Boddicker listened to and learned from everything he could get his hands on, but found direction one Monday night at a poignant performance at The Continental Club in Austin, TX by country guitar legend Junior Brown. This steered the author and musician toward honky-tonk, country and western swing.
Boddicker holds a B.A. in English and a MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University, which have proven useful for his endeavors into publishing. In 2014, his short story “Equipment” was published in “A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier” (Jap Sam Books / M12 Studio). His first book “The Essential Carl Mahogany” (2017), which has been deemed evocative of Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson and Don DeLillo, is the first novel to be published by M12 Studio / Last Chance Press.
In addition to his work as an author, Boddicker has been a staple of the Roots Music scene along the Front Range for 20 years as a member of 4H Royalty, Cowboy Dave Band, Drag the River, and many others. He currently resides in Denver with his wife and two daughters.