Praise for Muir Woods Or Bust

“Woollen weaves together contemporary anxieties with the early voices of America’s environmental movement to create a page-turner that is both universal and intimate. It’s an insightful and heartfelt adventure. Prescient, wry and wholly original, Muir Woods Or Bust is the novel we need right now.”

—Meg Little Reilly, former Obama staffer and author of the novel, We Are Unprepared

“Open this book and you’re entering the latest of Ian Woollen’s American novels, tales that spin outward from dear Indiana … and sort of get on everybody. Here many incarnations of the iconic John Muir roam our current geo-sphere along with fracking and Earth First and an old actor and the missing money. Two wild westward odysseys intertwine, including, of course, Las Vegas (and a video game) as quests for family, fortune, and the famous drive our multiple heroes. Mr. Woollen simply refuses to be contained. This is an exuberant book.”

—Ron Carlson, author of Return To Oakpine

“This tragicomic cli-fi novel about a pivotal episode in the life of environmentalist John Muir puts the American icon in a startling new light.”

—Dan Bloom, The Cli-Fi Report

“Ian Woollen is one of the outstanding writers to join the ranks of Indiana’s great tradition of novelists, from Lew Wallace to Booth Tarkington to Kurt Vonnegut.”

—Dan Wakefield, author of Going All The Way, and Under The Apple Tree

“Part eco-meditation, part romance, part video game, part Apocalyptic comedy, Woollen’s book shows how fear, grief and loss can be transformed into action. Muir Woods Or Bust provides a road map for enjoying the ride of facing our climate crisis by becoming our true selves. Entertaining and enlightening.”

—Jim Poyser, Executive Director, Earth Charter Indiana

“Ian Woollen prognosticates our mental and ecological health, which—who knew?—are linked. The bad news is that, no matter how clever we are, gaming ahead will be futile. The good news is that, as always, mankind’s decline will be full of comic relief. Woollen, as his fellow Hoosier Vonnegut did, sees ahead around all the kooky corners, and signals for us to come on anyway.”

—James Alexander Thom, author of Follow the River and Fire in the Water

“Bakhtin rightly described the novel as a voracious form—it embraces, ingests, and devours other genres. Ian Woollen through his osmotic and morphing novel, Muir Woods Or Bust, unleashes the novel’s formal omnivorous proclivities on the subject matter of post-industrial gluttony, avarice, and despair. He does so with a style steeped in lyric charm and graceful élan that masks but does not eliminate the entropic exhaustion seeping into everything everywhere. A speculative text about people and peoples unraveling, Muir Woods or Bust records gorgeously the (spoiler alert) spoil of our spoiling, simmering in the cacophony of our impending, irresistible, and iridescent demise.”

—Michael Martone, Author of Michael Martone and Four for a Quarter

“A compelling and quirky set of characters, an odyssey, a multi-faceted commentary on our relationships to the natural and virtual worlds and to our home landscapes, a multi-generational saga, and a fun and funny and serious story.”

—Kathie Fiveash, award-winning author of The Island Naturalist