"Rattlesnake Daddy is a real page-turner, and like the best mysteries it pushes aside the grim fact of death in favor of the life-affirming attempt to understand."─Oronte Churm, Inside Higher Ed
From the Back Cover
"Powerful and moving. Spencer writes like a bruised angel."--Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World
and Writing the Sacred Into the Real "Brent Spencer's Rattlesnake Daddy paints a wonderfully vivid portrait of a chaotic, colorful, venomous man who was the author's absent father. Spencer turns his father's nomadic life and puzzling death in the Florida Keys into a true-life mystery story, rendered with quiet clarity, deep compassion, and a pitch-perfect voice. Spencer's writing is truly exquisite."--Dinty Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire and The Accidental Buddhist "'A father is the mystery his son never solves,' Spencer writes. But in this haunted and haunting memoir/detective story, he comes as close as he can without actually crawling into his father's rattlesnake skin."
--Robin Hemley, author of Do-Over!
and Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness "Rattlesnake Daddy
is the compelling story of a son's chase, a journey into secrets and mysteries and the venom of the past, present, and future. It is also an attempt at intimacy and understanding. Populated with a cast of remarkable characters and a sequence of stunning scenes, Rattlesnake Daddy
is unforgettable for its clear-sighted contemplation of the sins of the father, and in their wake, the complicated yearnings of the son."--Lee Martin, author of From Our House
and The Bright Forever "Rattlesnake Daddy is amazing. Alternately horrifying, funny, analytical, and heart-wrenching, it skillfully and affectingly tells a father-son story like none I've ever encountered: of a cruel and menacing psychopath who managed to seem not just sane but admirable, and of a son who overcame endless varieties of torture to write this stunning memoir of good riddance. Out of what Brent Spencer calls his father's "catalogue of mysteries," he has crafted a literary form of exorcism that is nothing less than a masterpiece."--Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Exiles