New from Down & Out Books: A Place for Snakes to Breed by Patrick Michael Finn

New from Down & Out Books …

A Place for Snakes to Breed by Patrick Michael Finn

A PLACE FOR SNAKES TO BREED by Patrick Michael Finn
Publication Date: June 07, 2021

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Synopsis … The desert spares no souls.

Set in the scorched and unforgiving deserts of the American Southwest, A Place for Snakes to Breed follows Weldon Holt’s desperate search for his daughter Tammy, who is lost in the vicious landscape of interstate truck stop prostitution and its nightworlds “where the fruit of human trade is harvested by razor blades and cheap pistols.”

Weldon Holt knows these brutal roadways all too well. As an over-the-road truck driver he was once ruined by liquor and methedrine, and he vanished from his daughter’s life. After a brief reconnection some fifteen years later, his daughter vanishes from his. Now, returning to the same roads that nearly killed him, Weldon must protect the sobriety he’s maintained for over a decade as Tammy does her best to lay her own life to ruin. The violence of temptation does battle with Weldon’s urgency to find and save Tammy at every mile marker he passes.

The character of time is devoured as Tammy descends into her journey of hellish self-destruction and agony, where the threat of death thrums in every motel room she visits and in every hitchhiked ride she takes. Her body and spirit deteriorate in the pollution of alcohol and cheap stimulants as she escapes into a vaporous version of herself where no real self remains.

Told with taut, vivid, and hallucinatory prose, A Place for Snakes to Breed explores the darkest expanses of human despair peopled by unforgettable characters who live and breathe on the page with complexity and emotional depth as they struggle to liberate themselves from the interstate’s pythonic grasp.


“Finn writes with the precision and eloquence of Cormac McCarthy, an understanding of what Jack London called ‘the submerged tenth,’ and the brutality of Nelson Algren and David Goodis. A Place for Snakes to Breed is a novel that will be studied by students and scholars, and serve as a model of how a book should be written for writers.” —Eric Miles Williamson, author of East Bay Grease and Welcome to Oakland

“Finn’s sinewy sentences whose movements you will not predict (and which you will read several times to savor and to try to piece out how he got there) turns A Place for Snakes to Breed into much more than a story about a troubled youth on a journey through the underworld. This is the world of a gifted writer who knows that the impoverished, the defective, and the hopeless is as complex as that of the upper-class characters that populate so much best-selling drivel.” —Ron Cooper, author of Purple Jesus and All My Sins Remembered

“In A Place for Snakes to Breed, Finn’s literary brilliance rings true, as he adeptly, artistically, and accurately conveys blue-collar America in all of its flawed splendor. With its beautifully raw, terse, prose and hard-driving themes, A Place for Snakes to Breed is the type of novel that brings new hope for American letters.” —Joseph D. Haske, author of North Dixie Highway