Title Of Book: Bell Hammers
By: Lancelot Schaubert
Sub-Genre: Action/Adventure, Alternate History, Coming of Age, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Light/Humorous SF
“Schaubert recounts a mischievous man’s eight decades in Illinois’s Little Egypt region in his picaresque debut. Remmy’s life of constant schemes and pranks and a lifelong feud with classmate Jim Johnstone and the local oil drilling company proves consequential. This is a hoot.”
– Publisher’s Weekly
🏆 finalist for Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open.
PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS.
AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.
Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops off of the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.
Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.
Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:
“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”
Grandad Patrick wrote a lot of letters in those days. He said you needed to know how to write good letters in case you were ever serving as an ambassador or serving a prison sentence and specially if you were serving a prison sentence as an ambassador. Stationery ran him 10¢ a package, and he’d let Remmy help sometimes to practice his letters or at least he’d read them out loud while Remmy listened and Remmy would just laugh and laugh. He wrote Dodge Motors:
After trying your labumba of a car, I can say the only thing you Dodged is my next purchase.
And Dodge didn’t care none. They wrote Grandad Patrick right back:
Oh good. We were worried our reflexes were slowing.
Grandad Patrick bought a battery charger put out by General Electric just so he could return it and the warranty with a letter that said: Sorry, looking for a more specific charge.
But the best of all came from the letter he wrote Phillip Morris. He used to smoke Lucky Strike, and he switched for just one day to Marlboro Reds. After tasting them, he got pissed, and his Irish blood kicked in, and he got his letter writing stuff out and said, “Remmy get over here and watch at how it’s done by a professional. This is how you get what you want out of a big old mean company like Phillip Morris.”
I bought your cigarettes on the 14th of June, this year of our Good Lord, 1948. I wanted smoke and tobacco. You did not give me smoke and tobacco. You gave me hellfire and brimstones. Your cigarettes are without a doubt the worst in the country, this great nation of United States. Your cigarettes are made out of horse shit and alfalfa.
With sincerity and great derision,
“You wait and see,” Grandad Patrick said.
Remmy busied himself for a few weeks, waiting for the return letter from Philip Morris. He detassled some corn, cut up his hands doing it, and then he used a grinder on some old shelves for this old man’s tool shed, got all the rust off of them old steel shelves. He didn’t have to wait long, though.
“Remmy! Letter!” Grandad Patrick yelled at him one day through the front door of the mechanic shop Remmy was working inside. Remmy came out and looked over Grandad Patrick’s shoulder as the old man opened the letter.
Dear Mr. Dempsey,
You tried a cigarette we have made and accused us of filling it with horse shit and alfalfa. We naturally resent this remark: there’s not a damn bit of alfalfa in it.
What People Are Saying:
5 Stars – “Schaubert’s words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar.”
5 Stars – “Myth, regret, the lore of our heritage and the subtle displays of our castes — no one so accurately and imaginatively captures the joys and sorrows of life…”
5 Stars – “Lancelot’s attentive, thoughtful, a bit quirky, and innovative.”
5 Stars – “Schaubert’s narratives are emotionally stirring with both a vulnerable sensibility and rawness to them.”
5 Stars – “The kind of story that makes you a better person and stays with you long after you put it down.”
Where to buy Bell Hammers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081LN9SXX
Meet Lancelot Schaubert:
I’m the author of the novel Bell Hammers, dozens of stories, hundreds of poems and essays. I edit The Showbear Family Circus (which, in its heyday, published over 500 works from 400+ renowned academics, artists, and authors) as well as the anthology series Of Gods and Globes, perform songs from All Who Wander, deliver keynote speeches and narrations, produce photonovels like Cold Brewed as well as various short films and theatrical productions.
Let’s Get Social
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lancelot-Schaubert/e/B01BUHC4OG?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1668629002&sr=8-1
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