- Author: Jack Ketchum
- Artist: Neal McPheeters
- Page Count: 100
- Pub. Date: 2003
- ISBN: 1-58767-067-4
- Status: Out of Print
"There's another writer here tonight who writes under the
name of Jack Ketchum and he has also written what may be the best book of his
career, a long novella called The Crossings. Have you read it?"
— Stephen King, from his 2003 National Book Awards Acceptance Speech
by Jack Ketchum
About the Book:
It's the Arizona Territory. The year, 1848. The year the Mexican War ended. Fate and blazing pistols have just thrown together reporter and part-time drunk Marion T. Bell and the very nearly legendary John Charles Hart, mustanger and scout, in the Little Fanny Saloon. Plying the river-trade across the Colorado to the gold fields of California in the north, and war-torn Mexico to the south, the town of Gable's Ferry has sprung up overnight—lacking only a church, a schoolhouse and a jail.
Though some would say that only the jail was needed.
A rough place in a lawless era. About to become a hell of a lot more so one night when Hart, Bell and the easy-going giant Mother Knuckles stumble upon Elena, a fierce, young, badly wounded Mexican woman near the banks of the Colorado. She's naked. She's been bullwhipped, knifed and branded. And she tells them about the kidnap, rape and servitude she and her sister have endured at the hands of las hermanas de lupo, the deadly Valenzura Sisters and their henchman, the deserter Paddy Ryan, at the well-manned slave-camp across the river aptly called Garanta del Diablo—Mouth of the Devil.
It's just three hundred years since Cortez. Only three hundred years since the Old Gods of Mexico were in their full and fearsome flower.
Tezcatlipoca, god of the moon and the night. Tlazolteotl, Eater of Filth. Xipe, Lord of the Flayed.
Blood for rain. Blood for bounty.
For many, like the Valenzura Sisters, they have never died.
And Elena's sister's still there.
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk—a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story "The Box" won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story "Gone" won again in 2000—and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written eleven novels, the latest of which are Red, Ladies' Night, and The Lost. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard, Broken on the Wheel of Sex, and Peaceable Kingdom. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards.
Published in two states:
• Limited Edition of 1,500 signed copies ($35)
• Traycased Lettered Edition of 52 signed and lettered copies bound in leather with a satin ribbon page marker ($175)