The Sourtoe Cocktail ClubThe Yukon Odyssey of a Father and Son in Search of a Mummified Human Toe ... and Everything Else
by Ron Franscell
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So much more than a father-son odysseywith a Charles Kuralt-like eye for the off-beat, whimsical and downright bizarre, Ron Franscell spins one masterful tale after another within the framework of a trip to the Yukon. My favorite, the story of man who stands on a street corner for seventeen years, inspires me to begin a search of my own to discover the fate of Spooky Boots.”
W. P. Kinsella, renowned author of Shoeless Joe (which became the movie Field of Dreams)
Seriously funny, earthily cosmichow does Ron Franscell do it? The Sourtoe Cocktail Club is a world-beater of a tale of the father-son odyssey to the farthest reach of road and heart.”
Ivan Doig, author of This House of Sky
Sourtoe is a splendid father-and-son odyssey into some of the very last of North America’s fast-shrinking wilderness. Ron Franscell’s beautifully written memoir is the story of a man’s determination to give his beloved son a truly memorable gift that he will never forget: a journey not just into the wild, but into a dark and astonishing family history from which their hilarious, moving, and searingly honest road trip may emancipate them both. I would rank The Sourtoe Cocktail Club with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and A River Runs Through It in its originality and its narrative exploration of what it means, in our era, to be a father and a son. In the end, like all great books, Sourtoe is a story about the power of love.”
Howard Frank Mosher, bestselling author of A Stranger in the Kingdom and Walking to Gatlinburg
It’s an odd and melancholy dance, this thing between fathers and sons. Ron Franscell writes with heart-breaking honesty about things the rest of us can barely articulate. Rarely have I read anything as moving about walking that tightrope between love and regret.”
--William McKeen, bestselling author of Highway 61: A Father-and-Son Journey Through the Middle of America
A stirring meditation on life and love and relationships. Part memoir and part travelogue, The Sourtoe Cocktail Club is an extraordinary odyssey that spans generations and miles, leading us through Panama and Texas and the Yukon, through tears and laughter and the self-discovery of fathers and sons. . . . The Sourtoe Cocktail Club is a road bumpy and gritty and real, a road lined with old movies and heavy metal, a road of disappointments past and dreams of things to come, a road beside which campfires crackle with history and music and books, a road where Jack London points the way toward the Arctic Circle, a tin box, and a mummified toe. It is eloquent and funny, sometimes touching and sometimes sad, a journey lit brightly with insight and wit as Franscell and his son Matt complete an epic journey together, trying to close the distance between them as they make their way through Valhalla and across the Toad River to the land of the midnight sun and their ultimate objective, The Toe: a destination no reader will soon forget. I don’t know how Franscell wrote this book, but I’m glad he did.
--David W. Ball, author of Empires of Sand and China Run
THE SOURTOE COCKTAIL CLUB is the true story of an extraordinary road trip with my teenage son to the Yukon and the Arctic, where we tested ourselves by sipping a cocktail containing a mummified human toe, and spent the longest day of the year under a sun that never set. A father, a son, a day without darkness. Magical.
It was also an odyssey in our past, present and future, where resurrection, discovery and healing are all tangled up with the path. Where men -- even fathers and sons -- can be both comrades and competitors in a physical and emotional wilderness.