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Clayton’s work has been smashingly reviewed by:
Publishers Weekly (starred review and best of the week), Indie Next List, Kirkus, BlueInk Review, Foreword Reviews, Seattle Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, San Francisco Book Review, Portland Book Review, Indie Reader, SPR, California Bookwatch, Reader Views, Spinetingler Magazine, Hardboiled Wonderland, various independent Best of the Year mentions, (Spinetingler and DoSomeDamage, among others).
Clayton’s novels Cold Quiet Country and My Brother’s Destroyer have been published in France by Le Seuil, and have been charmingly reviewed by Le Monde, La Croix, and Le Figaro.
If you haven’t read Clayton’s unique style of darkly humored literary noir, what are you waiting for?
Name: Clayton Lindemuth
Born: 1970, Royal Oak, MI
High School: Brockway, PA
College: Clarion University of PA, Arizona State University, (BA English Lit)
Married: Julie, since 1996
Military Service: Army reserve 1988-1994; Active Duty Army 1995-1998, 13B Field Artillery; Arms Room
First Career: Financial Planning, Wealth Management, CLU ChFC CKA
Second Career: Farting around writing books and loving every single day.
Interests: Economics (Austrian), quantum physics, consciousness studies, apologetics
Hobbies: Ultra distance running (longest run 73 miles); woodworking, motorcycle touring (Indian Challenger)
Favorite Music: Doors, Zeppelin, Skynyrd, Stones, Floyd, Alice in Chains, and of course, Hank Williams Jr.
Favorite Authors: Heinlein, Connelly, Twain, London
Only read first few pages. Won’t read about animal torture. Not able to give an accurate review because I won’t waste my time reading about animal cruelty
Stephanie Johnson –
This book was an unexpected gem. I truly could not think of anything else while reading it. Very well written, never slow or muddled.
David Odeen –
In 2013 I have read 102 books, this my dear noir fans is a top five book for me. Character driven, highly developed plot lines, and a bad guy you will not forget for quite a few books from now. If you want some sickness inside a rural country setting and are not afraid of a bloody body count, then this folks is a top-notch book of the year. Highly highly recommended. Warning, once started don’t plan on getting stopped anytime soon.
I enjoyed this book. I don’t think I’ve read a book that has had a more mean, spiteful, hate filled, and just plain crazy main character as Angus Hardgrave. Throughout the entire story, just when you think you have him figured out, his behavior changes. Whatever evil enterprise he has his mind on, and the characters involved, change “direction,” and change their own focus to keep up with Angus. The story line is as schizophrenic as it’s main character, lots of plot changes to keep up with, lots of action and good (and God) triumphs over evil and the book comes to a blunt end. I was disappointed this book was not a close continuation of what I assumed was the first book in a series, with Angus as a teen, himself being the good that triumphs over evil. I had issues with the family line, the fact that Grace, so prominent in the first story was not mentioned. These issues were not enough to slow me down. At the end I was left wanting more, which is a good thing.
Frustrated in Indiana –
The story develops in your hands, you wonder how much one can take, whether it be in the past or future. When things get rough, it brings out both senselessness as well as fully common sense. One slowly sees that greed fails to itself. You’re dealt one card at a time, but you do get the full deck of cards at the end, but you’re still looking for more cards to come.
Clayton Lindemuth’s NOTHING SAVE THE BONES INSIDE HER (2013) is a story about a believer and her God. But this is no feel-good-hands-in-the-air-and-hug-your-neighbor faith. Emeline Margulies Hardgrave believes in a God who has much power, but who demands much in return. Faith can conquer, Lindemuth seems to claim, but first, the believer must be conquered by faith.Emeline’s journey shows her overcoming domination and power through submission to her God’s will. Her God is a harsh teacher who schools her in submitting to His will in the face of an evil that has free rein in the Appalachian mountains of western Pennsylvania. Can Emeline allow herself to become an instrument of righteousness? If she can, her vision of peace will become the future. If she can’t, a centuries-old evil made manifest will claim another life.Emeline’s tormentors–both her stalker and her husband–want one thing: to hold in their fists dominion over the life and death of every living thing in Devil’s Elbow. The novel’s theme of man’s misuse of power is made clear in the breeding and fighting of pit bulls, which Lindemuth renders with particular detail and nerve-withering force.But even though Lindemuth can make words climb into your mind and lodge like memory, the purpose is never mere shock porn. In this novel, puppies are tortured into being fighting dogs because powerless men need to pretend that they are strong. Justice comes with four legs and clamped jaws, though. Every man who trains a pit bull in this book has created a hound of hell, and the hounds exercise a moral force in the book’s punishing universe.Lindemuth’s world is no place for half-measures, not for dogs nor characters nor author. His subject and style are in the tradition of John Donne, mixed with a northern Appalachian Gothic tone reminiscent of William Faulkner, and a crystalline, straight line of descent from Flannery O’Connor. The stalker’s car in NOTHING SAVE THE BONES INSIDE HER could appear in O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find;” the trailer that Deet fashions for Emeline is like the Bundren family’s wagon in Faulkner’s AS I LAY DYING.Lindemuth’s last novel, COLD QUIET COUNTRY, is a Wyoming riff on Arthurian legend, a fact tipped to us by the characters’ names: Guinevere and Gale G’Wain. If you’re thinking that their literary pedigrees alone make Lindemuth’s books worth reading, you’d be right. These modern-day revenge tragedies and morality plays are spiritual–deep explorations of what we know is right and wrong, fair and unfair, moral and immoral, good and evil–the lights that illuminate, sometimes dimly, our journey through the world.Lindemuth is a writer’s writer, too, in his use of setting, voice, and point of view. Anyone who practices fiction writing will benefit from a study of how he makes different voices come off the page through word choice, punctuation, and details.Such a charged, emotional reading experience is an unusual, unsettling, yet rewarding experience, and I look forward to spending time with Clayton Lindemuth’s next release, MY BROTHER’S DESTROYER (2013).
Joe Castrianni –
Loved this book!
David A. Wright –
Not that long ago I didn’t know that Southern Noir was a genre but in the last few months I have read quite a lot of it.This is an excellent book that is beautifully written, although the themes are unremittingly dark throughout. Stephen King wrote long ago that when reading the books of great writers you become so immersed in the story and the imagery that you forget that you are reading (I paraphrase slightly) and Clayton Lindemuth acheives this here.I wholeheartedly recommend this book.As an aside, at the end of the book he reveals that it is self-published – and it is a sign of the quality of the editing and proofing as well as the author that this was not obvious until then (unlike so many other kindle books).
I like the way the author tells a story. It’s refreshing to read about faith in God and it’s rewards.
Kindle Customer –
This book made me think what I would do in Emmeline situation. She had very tough decisions to make and did the best she could. I did not enjoy the dog fights, I find them revolting but necessary in this tale.
Ruth Casey May –
I enjoyed reading this book. Lots of action, retribution, redemption. I like a well-written story that ends well. Great book!
Couldn’t put it down. Amazing!
This is my first foray into the Rural Noir genre. This is not something that I would normally read. The books paints a stark picture of rural life in the ’50s with dialogue and settings that transport you directly into the story. Simplistic at times, but well written. The power of religion and following god’s will is central to the story. I honestly struggled to finished this, mainly because I didn’t feel a connection to the characters or the storyline, but as I mentioned it is very well written.
Really good book! Absolutely enjoy this author. Entertaining.
Peggy Bergman –
Storytelling is art form. A good storyteller can bring characters alive, make you like or dislike them, teach a moral or twist your emotions as the story unfolds. Lindemuth delivers in a style that is enjoyable and rare. He’s got a rare talent that takes you, dear reader, to a time and place you don’t know but is authentic. I didn’t want the book to end.
Victoria Cramer –
I fell in love the Baer Creighton series and have almost all of his other books. A different kind of writer – but once you read one book, you will be hooked. He is fantastic!
Sid S. Graves –
I’ve never hated a main character so much in my life. Another great read from Mr Lindemuth, my new favorite author!
Emily French –
Although it has a little bit of a slow start, I found myself wanting to savor the writing anyway. It was difficult to put down and impossible to avoid picking back up again. Angus is clearly the star of the show, and he’s a complex man, one that inspires strong feelings from the moment you meet him. I was reminded of great literature showing the flaws of men and how much we are all influenced by our upbringing and surroundings.My biggest problem with the book is hard to explain without giving away the ending. Emeline isn’t a very strong character, and she seems to be irrelevant in the grand scheme. She’s a puppet and a tool, and one that doesn’t understand her master well enough to do anything properly. In some ways, she’s a perfect foil for Angus, showing exactly the same result from a different starting point, but it’s hard to overcome that she comes off as weak and stupid, even when she’s being ‘strong’.Even with its flaws, I cannot overstate how absorbed I was by this book. I do caution readers that it’s coarse and violent, and most assuredly fits into the darker side of its setting.
Robert Brown –
This is a great read. I couldn’t put it down and afterwards couldn’t stop thinking about it. This writers characters ring so true you can almost hear their voices as you read. The writing is inspired and inspires the reader. I read the series in sequence but I think this second one is a stand alone story. This is gritty but beautiful stuff.
DAVID W –
Was a page turner for me! Had to know what was going to happen to the characters next. Have enjoyed all of this author’s books!
I finished Sometimes Bone and Nothing Save the Bones Inside Her.I’ve rarely read anything that left me at a loss for words. Did I like the books? I’m not sure. Were the stories disturbing? Oh, yeah. Predictable? Hell, no. Did I like the characters? Well, I can admire the pattern on a rattlesnake’s hide – from a distance. Doesn’t mean I want to pet the damn thing.I just know that if lived in a town with characters like that, I would move. Anywhere. Sas-freakin-katchewan. Just get me to the Greyhound station.If you’ve got a taste for some extra-strong Rural Noir, here you go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
John Ramsey Miller –
This tree is trouble with a capital W. I want to see more episodes. Many, many more. Three more words.
Jim M –
Really like this author. Characters are sometimes disturbing but unfortunately realistic. I also like the unpredictable story lines.
THE HOLEY ONE –
This could have been written by Dean Koontz, a younger Koonz before he got a conscience. I lived through the time period covered by this story and if anyone thinks the behavior depicted in this book was limited to just rural areas they don’t remember why so many women wore sunglasses before it became vogue. Okay, maybe we didn’t have stills in the urban areas but wives were surely expected to “submit” to their husbands. Even Ministers and Priests would counsel battered women to be better wives and get herself and the kids ready for the hard-working weary man-of-the-house (read that as King-of-the-Castle) to arrive home from his challenging labors. Of course, dinner must be ready and he should be greeted with his preferred cocktail. How more of this type of husband didn’t succumb to premature death from “natural causes” is beyond me.I was a bit disappointed that this book didn’t pick-up right after the first book, Sometimes Bone when Angus figured out who his real father was. However, that didn’t cause any reduction in the enjoyment of this story and I understand the author has plans to come back to that time and fill in what transpired up to the start of this book. At the start of the first dog-fight, the event coordinator cautions the attendees to “Just get out of here” if they’re not prepared to watch these dogs in all their glory, tear each other apart. That’s good advice for any readers who don’t wish to learn how these dogs are conditioned, trained, and tormented into being killers. If that isn’t offputting, this book was hard to put down.Review by THE HOLEY ONE
Very good book. Enjoyed the read and will read more from this author. You have more to come I hope.
I read this after Cold, Quiet Country and have the rest of Lindemuth’s books on my reading list now. Hard boiled noir….
David A –
I’m not usually one for writing reviews so will just say it is very rare I read two books in succession by the same author. Now about to download his latest and I think it will go straight to the front of the queue, which will make it three in succession….
Bordeaux Dogue –
I read a lot of hard boiled novels, but I do not remember such a collection of mean, crazy, characters as those that live in this book.A descent into madness. A well told story.I preferred His Brother’s Destroyer, in any case, as well as Lindemuth’s first novel.Hence the four stars.
Fight hug gggg nnnn mmmmmm kkkk llll ooooo fffff bbbb mmmmm ffff hhhhh wwee rrrrrr yuuu tyuio yuiop yui poii
This may very well be the perfect novel for me. It has everything I love about fiction. Within the first couple pages I was instantly transported into a world I will never inhabit, and among people I may never meet. The narrative is rhythmic. Lindemuth never slips you any ten-penny words, but your mind is still blown. The pacing, the suspense, the language… This will do you solid.This is dark, Southern Gothic at its finest.You will never look at walnuts the same ever again.My favorite writer of all-time is William Gay and when he died two years ago, I realized we will never have another of his novels. Clayton Lindemuth helps soften that blow.
Richard A. Wulterkens –
The depravity of these characters knows no bounds, as even the ‘good’ ones are hardly pristine. Direct, rich prose that’ll keep your attention. If you yearn for a tale of gruesome events defined only by evil, you’ve come to the right place!
TN Casual –
Before you read this book, and please do, read Sometimes Bone. This is a fantastic story. Dark, raw, and unpredictable. This is the 10th Clayton Lindemuth book I’ve read and none disappoint! I’m a huge fan of King and Grisham. Somehow Lindemuth has woven those styles of tale-telling together. I’m starting #11, Solomon Bull today and just ordered Cold Quiet Country. These stories of the evil, and good, that lurks in rural Americana are fantastic.
Charles P. Skinner –
Just when you think it cannot get any more insane the author comes at you from an entirely unforeseen angle. Love this guys stuff. Have read 9 of his books in 2 months.
Christopher Stapleton –
The Angus Hargrove series continues and you will find yourself eager for more … Lindemuth is addictive!
Ozzie cactus fan –
Another wonderfully written country noir novel by Clayton Lindemuth. This novel deals with dog fighting, an excess of religious zeal and murder. And a very naïve, maybe even stupid, woman who eventually comes to her senses and starts to rely upon herself rather than her God. The writing is superb, especially the many funny but entirely descriptive similes. I look forward to reading more books by Mr Lindemuth – one of my favourite writers.
Wade M. Page –
Great books all from this author. I’ve read all the books I can find and waiting for more by this author! I higly recommend.
Amazon Customer –
What a breathtaking story. Character creation is once again flawless! I have now read all of your books. Waiting patiently for the next adventure. Thanks for the ride.
Chuckle house –
Brilliant reading,hard to put down once you start,for once a story with a beginning and an end, very very good
Kindle Customer –
The men and women in this story struggle to survive the darkest souls alive or dead. Sometimes you think you’re winning, when the truth is you lost before the fight began. Will justice steer the course? Or the evil that guides men?
E J Miller –
I loved this. To begin with, I was a bit wary of being thrust straight into a particularly violent and horrible opening, but I am so very glad I persevered and finished this book. It is a classic fight, on so many levels, between good and evil. The evil is so bad it seems as if good could never overcome it. I won’t say more except that the characters are beautifully rendered, the countryside against which this rural noir story is set leaps into life and is an integral part of the story and the thinking behind this book provocative and fundamental.Not for the faint-hearted, but so very worthwhile.
I loved this book – it is dark, horrifying, scary and bloody. I started it and finished in one day of vacation. I just had to find out how it ended.
I read this ebook in one day and couldn’t put it down. I did not enjoy the parts about dog fighting, but it was an integral part of the ending of the story. Mr. Lindemuth has stated he believes in right is right. There was much reading of the bible, and entreating the Lord for answers, and I just wanted to tell the lady to forget it, but in the end she got an answer…A really well written story that was thoroughly enjoyable.
Cindi Coleson –
Wow! I have never read a book like this before, but once I started it I couldn’t put it down. It was dark at times, but it had to be that way for you to see the light in it. Really really good book. Trust me, you need to read this!
Married to garden enthusiast –
This was a gripping tale from the first chapter of the trials of being a young woman who finds herself at the mercy of evil men. She depends on her faith to get her through but finds she has to use her wits as well. It’s a nail biter.
M. Pomeroy –
Clayton Lindemuth has become a favorite writer for me. His writing is fast moving and his characters are quickly well known to the reader and I like that. Plots and subplots are easy and gripping characters to root for. As he says, light does win.
I happen to love reading about past times, people and places I know nothing about. .I’m also a character driven reader. Nothing Save the Bones Inside Her hit all the marks for me.