About the Book The Square Root of Texas
The First Calamity of QED Morningwood
- Genre: Satire / Humor / Absurdist Fiction
- Publisher: Independently Published
- Date of Publication: September 26, 2018
- Number of Pages: 181 pages
- Scroll down for Giveaway!
QED Morningwood is a liar, braggart and teller of tall tales. When he shows up at the domino parlor with a mysterious Russian crate in the back of his pick-up truck, he confides to the players he is a ‘Shadow’ member of the NRA, not on their official membership roll, and has a load of rocket propelled grenades – all lies. The news spreads to the real Shadow NRA, the FBI and Homeland Security. Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Cultural Preservation sends an agent to retrieve the crate, the actual contents known only to the Russians.
The Russian agent, an FBI team, a DHS undercover agent and a Shadow NRA hit team arrive in Heelstring, Texas looking for QED and his crate. Their convergence is followed by interrogations, seduction, lies, arrests, jailbreak, kidnapping and rescue – along with car chases and explosions. If not for Cotton Widdershins, an ancient black man with secrets of his own, who acts as QED’s mentor and savior, the Morningwood line would be doomed to end, or at best spend life in a federal penitentiary.
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About the author, Rob Witherspoon
Rob Witherspoon was born and raised in rural Texas. He earned a BA in Physical Education, UT Arlington 1985 and a BS in Aerospace Engineering, UT Arlington 1990. He worked in the aerospace industry for 30 years before retiring in 2018. He lives in north central Texas with his wife and youngest daughter and has spent much of his life in rural communities and on the ranch. He combines his love for Texas, lying, the outdoors, engineering, and his children in his writing.
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From the very first scene of Cotton Widdershins and the other menfolk in this story playing dominoes and drinking coffee that might or might not not be ‘just’ coffee, I was hooked on The Square Root of Texas.
In this novel, Rob Witherspoon introduces us to QED “Kid” Morningwood, the town… well… referring to him as the town calamity would not be entirely inaccurate. It’s a good thing this book is both humor and satire because otherwise I wouldn’t sure whom to feel bad for: Kid, or everyone else.
Much of the story is told through the perspective of Cotton Widdershins, which is fantastic because he makes these seemingly commonplace observations that lend to both truth and hilarity, like telling everyone to look out the window at Kid and his blazing (literally) truck in the beginning of the novel, because Morningwood won’t be satisfied if there aren’t witnesses to his disaster of the moment.
Witherspoon’s creativity isn’t limited to character names or situations, though. This novel takes place in an alternate version of Texas, where he’s changed the place names both to protect the not-so-innocent and just to be silly. And unabashed silliness is at the heart of this book. Witherspoon defies structure, eschewing formal chapters for suggested activities when we readers need a break (as someone who does a ton of reading in the bathroom, I mainly did laundry and got more coffee, but you are free to follow other ideas) and inventing a “mesologue” in the middle of the story.
It takes a special kind of brain – and a lot of bravado – to create something that meshes a fantastic (in all senses of the word) plot with instances of both black and conventional humor, but Witherspoon has done so with aplomb. That being said, I feel that there are things that I missed, because I’m not as steeped in Texas culture and lore as an actual native.
A short book at under 200 pages, The Square Root of Texas is fast, funny, and fabulous.
Goes well with coffee (with whatever additive you like) and popcorn, because this story is quite the show.
GRAND PRIZE (US only):
Signed Copies of The Square Root of Texas and Deus Tex Machina
2ND PRIZE (US only): Signed Copy of The Square Root of Texas
3RD PRIZE (US Only): Kindle Copy of The Square Root of Texas
Giveaway ends midnight, CST, 11/20/2020
Visit the Other Great Blog on this Tour
Or check out the tour page for this book at Lone Star Literary Life:
|Texas Book Lover
|Hall Ways Blog
|All the Ups and Downs
|Guest Post Video
|Sybrina’s Book Blog
|Chapter Break Book Blog
|Reading by Moonlight