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High Desert Barbecue [Kindle Edition]

J.D. Tuccille
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Written in a style that might be described as Edward Abbey meets Hunter S. Thompson, conspiracy, arson and ineptitude threaten the desert West, and only a misanthropic hermit, a subversive schoolteacher and an unemployed business writer stand in the way.

Living as a squatter on public land, Rollo has long waged a personal war against the Forest Service, so it’s little surprise when rangers burn him out of his latest shack. But when Rollo is subsequently blamed for a disastrous wildfire, he seeks help from his close friend, Scott, an anarchically minded outdoors enthusiast, and Scott’s girlfriend Lani, who dislikes Rollo but shares his distaste for authority. While investigating a suspicious new forest fire, the trio interrupts a bizarre but vicious gang of environmental terrorists. Chased through the canyon country of northern Arizona, Rollo, Scott and Lani must rely on their wits and skills to survive. Just steps behind, their pursuers compensate for incompetence and sexual eccentricity with fanaticism and official connections. Hanging in the balance is the fate of human habitation throughout the West – or maybe just peace and quiet in downtown Flagstaff.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J.D. Tuccille's provocative and often witty columns have appeared in publications including the Arizona Republic and the Washington Times. An enthusiastic explorer of the American Southwest, he lives in rural northern Arizona with his wife, Wendy, a pediatrician, their son, Anthony, and their two dogs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 146644830X
  • Publisher: Stubbed Toe Press (October 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061GO1YI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first novel November 21, 2011
By Joel
HDB is a very entertaining book, I enjoyed it very much and think you might as well.

It's not a great, ponderous tome by any stretch, at most it's a light weekend read. Nor (Oh, thank you Muses!) does it at any point stop the music to explain the characters' actions or beliefs, or to lecture the reader on why he or she should act or believe that way too. That second thing being one of the two great weaknesses of the average bit of modern freedom fic, I'd have appreciated that even if Tuccille's book had disappointed in every other way.

Which it does not. Tuccille stuck to his plot and stubbornly resisted what must have been occasional temptation to pause and explain philosophical points along the way. To be honest, I don't know what effect that will have on general readers. But as a crazed freedomista myself, I found the way his protagonists dealt with their dilemma quite easy to follow, and the story delightful.

Having said that, character development is both the story's greatest strength and one of its greatest weaknesses. The protagonists are well-rounded characters - they have strengths and weaknesses that are carefully crafted and quite human, you have no trouble believing in these people. I wish I could say the same for the antagonists, who are almost uniformly one-dimensional and whose actions often descend into slapstick. If the "looters" in Atlas Shrugged had spent most of the book without their clothes on (don't ask) they'd be a lot like these characters. It's kind of jarring: the good guys are real people, but I had a very hard time suspending disbelief in the bad guys. Because HDB treats its subject matter lightly but it is really not a light subject, the book sometimes veers rather unevenly between drama and comedy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to read and outrageous! November 8, 2011
By K-Lo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I picked this book up because of the Edward Abbey/Hunter S. Thompson reference and because of the outdoors connection. I like Thompson's work and any book that involves pyromania, Flagstaff, backpacking, drugs and general insanity has got to be entertaining. This book did not disappoint - it a delight to read and outrageous! The author obviously knows his way around a campfire and loves the outdoors. I definitely recommended this book to anyone who wants a modern take on "sex, drugs and rock and roll".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read December 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unusual plot, fast paced, good characters. Action in the high mesa wilderness with an intriguing set of well written characters with interesting and conflicting, if nonconformist, views on wilderness conservation and who should or shouldnot be able to benefit from it. Best of all, it doesn't preach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster in the desert. November 20, 2012
By Cat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you like stories of being stuck in the desert, this is for you. Characters were developed, lacked in suspense. Could have been better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG! Can't stop reading this . . . November 7, 2011
I'm *supposed* to be doing a WordPress install, but I got a copy of JD's High Desert Barbecue, and I haven't stopped for 8 chapters.

"Anxious over the delay in his official mission of arboreal arson,
Jason once again stood on his brakes and brought his truck to
a skidding halt. Fine Arizona soil, bone dry in the sun-drenched
intermission between monsoon rains, rose up in a cloud and settled
gently on Jason and his passengers."

It's quirky, interesting, and reads like a great road trip - flies past so fast that you don't realize you're *not* getting your work done.

If you've ever been to Colorado, Arizona, etc., you'll recognize the people, the weather, scenery, EVERYTHING. 'Cuz Tuccille writes *true life*.

Buy this - you'll enjoy it. I am. ;o)
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By Barat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the writers tone and style. The story didn't lose my interest by going into unnecessary detail rather it worked with my imagination to bring me in to its world. I look forward to the authors next novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced eco conspiracy... January 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book will not be among those considered as the next great American novel, but for someone wanting a fast and entertaining read with some good outdoors imagery wound into the conspiracy and adventure, look no further!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast-paced outdoors fiction September 6, 2013
There is no shortage of novels devoted to the outdoors whose stories appeal to backpackers, campers and hikers. It takes only a minute's thought to conjure up such titles as Into the Wild, Hatchet, or Hemingway's famous short story, Big Two-Hearted River. Many of these seriously and studiously explore nature as a vast healing power, a thunderous force not to be trifled with, or a dangerous coming of age challenge.

Rare are those stories that depict nature with a lighthearted chuckle, to be respected, sure, but also to be enjoyed by people who know what they're doing in the Great Outdoors. Rarer still is such a story written from a free market, libertarian perspective. Luckily, author J.D. Tuccille has taken it upon himself to rectify that deficit with his novel, High Desert Barbecue.

Scott and his friend Rollo are both renegades, but both in their own unique, quirky ways. While Scott commits minor acts of vandalism against police vehicles, and willfully ignores building codes when renovating his house, Rollo eschews civilization altogether, living alone for months at a time in the dusty Arizona wilderness (the eponymous High Desert).

When Rollo, never friendly with the state Forest Service, is kicked out of his squatter's cabin by rangers, he escapes to the relative safety of Scott's home in Flagstaff. When he is then blamed by government officials for a large wildfire ravaging the western state, he drags Scott and his girlfriend Lani into a dangerous chase that will pit them against Forest Service rangers, wacko environmentalists and a plot that could threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

J.D. Tuccille's first novel, High Desert Barbecue, is a great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book!
Published 5 months ago by donald hawk
5.0 out of 5 stars Zesty Subversive Romp through Woods & Deserts of Arizona
J.D. Tuccille has written a zesty subversive romp through the woods and deserts of northern Arizona. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James Bovard
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun book!
I really did enjoy this book. A lot! My only complaint is that he was too easy on the bad guys in the end.
Published on December 27, 2012 by DullHawk
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed
Found it very odd and disturbing. Almost quit reading it several times. It was disjointed and choppy and a bit gruesome.
Published on December 19, 2012 by Judith D Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Debut. Would Buy A Sophomore Effort
Having enjoyed the author's writing on Reason.Com, I thought I'd give this book a go.

A quick, enjoyable read. Read more
Published on December 2, 2012 by P. Gomes
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, corruption and chase... a fun read.
I found this story slow to start then it became a thrilling chase and interesting conclusion. It describes the Rim country in Arizona nicely and takes you there.
Published on November 25, 2012 by Gary K
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild plot
I was unprepared for the events in this book. The characters are unforgettable and the events a little far out at times. Read more
Published on November 23, 2012 by Tom - Mobile
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious disappointment
I heard about this book, a great new libertarian novel about intrigue in the desert. It was a major disappointment. It almost seems anti-libertarian to me. Read more
Published on November 20, 2012 by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

J.D. Tuccille's provocative and often witty columns on hotly debated topics including the environment, government overreach and civil liberties have appeared in publications including the Arizona Republic, the Denver Post, the Providence Journal and the Washington Times. An editor at, the online incarnation of Reason magazine, and former editor of a popular civil liberties website, Tuccille has commented on current issues on both television and radio, and has been quoted saying unkind things about politicians and government policies in the pages of the New York Times, Salon and other publications.

Tuccille is an enthusiastic explorer of the American Southwest's deserts, mountains and forests. He lives in rural northern Arizona with his wife, Wendy, a pediatrician, their son, Anthony, and their two dogs.


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