"Max Zimmer has written the Great American Mormon Novel. For decades, readers have depended upon a few extraordinary writers to understand fully what it means to be an American – Philip Roth, Julia Alvarez, Ralph Ellison, Erica Jong, John Updike. Zimmer has added a critical new dimension to our shared national understanding of who we are and how we got here. Shake Tauffler’s decade-long journey through the Mormon Church and beyond will resonate with all Americans who ponder their soul and place in our changing national portrait." - Michael Strong, co-founder and COO of Zola Books
"In the masterful first book of his promised trilogy, If Where You’re Going Isn’t Home, author Max Zimmer takes us on a soul-searching journey to 1950s Bountiful. Besides being an engrossing and complex coming-of-age story, Journey is wonderfully written in a lyrical yet gutsy style akin to J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain, or John Steinbeck." - Diane Cole, Salt Lake Tribune
"Shake’s observations reveal the absurdity of fundamentalist logic, the deep-seated racism in Mormon history, and the extraordinary way music can transport us to a different time, mindset, or spiritual state." - Kirkus Reviews
"Zimmer has captured the nuances of not only the essence of jazz, but also the era of the fifties from the perspective of a young boy thrust into a religious community during an era of societal change throughout America. This is not a novel for those who are offended by curious sexual chatter amongst boys, tales of profane bravado, or private and public questioning of the Sunday School teacher. This is a novel for those who appreciate a lyrical quest for truth, a story filled with images and sounds, and a boy who longs for the world of Miles Davis.” - Dana Bishop Smith, Association for Mormon Letters
"Max Zimmer writes beautifully. His prose has a natural rhythm and grace that is testimony to his having honed his craft for a long time so that it's no longer just craft but real art. There are many scenes that will stick with me forever." - Markus Hoffmann, Regal Literary, New York
About the Author
My published work includes poems, stories, reviews, magazine articles, short biographies, andliner notes for jazz albums. Success came fairly quickly once I got into writing. Following its nomination by Ray Carver, my first publishedstory "Utah Died for Your Sins" was awarded the Pushcart Prize, andsingled out in Rolling Stone magazine as a raw new voice in Americanfiction. I've read at venues ranging from coffee shops to SUNY writers'conferences to the Pen New Writers Series. Jack Cady, Grace Paley, Lewis Turco, and John Gardner are among other established writers who haveexpressed high regard and admiration for my work. E. L. Doctorow calledmy work the best he'd seen in a coast-to-coast college tour followingthe release of Ragtime. After meeting me on a similar tour after Falconer was published, John Cheever enthusiastically promoted my work for the last five years of his life.