THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE
Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age
Publisher: River Grove Books
Date of Publication: February 29, 2015
Number of Pages: 220
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Hunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder.
The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.
PRAISE FOR THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE:
I laughed. I cried. This is a book that is real, honest and reminds all of us that life is filled with ups and downs. The only way to keep moving forward is to get real with ourselves about whom we are and accept our beauty and our pain. This young author has amazing wisdom that is so articulately shared with readers of all ages.
— 5 Stars, Amazon Verified Purchase
The West Texas Pilgrimage was insightful into the mind of a privileged, pre-adult male who tries to self-medicate his OCD condition with alcohol. While reading, I felt the main character’s vulnerabilities as he struggled with his feelings regarding his career choice, the loss of a good friend to cancer, and the complications of his search for the right female life mate. The book was a quick read…only because I could not put it down! There were several “ah-ha” moments when I thought: oh my, that’s really how a pre-adult male thinks??!? I never knew!!
— 5 Stars Donna J Millon
I read the first half of the book in one night; it draws you in with believable characters and real challenges they face. Could have been written about people you know or have met. It covers some tough topics but is an enjoyable read. — 5 Stars Peter Day
Really nice read. Very detailed description of so many things made me feel like I was right there with them. 2 nights to read for a non reader like me makes for a really easy and entertaining time. Thumbs up.
— 5 Stars Nunya
The book brought me right back to the border towns of my youth. Step outside any bar and be hit with the smell of fajita and sewer. Glorious! — 5 Stars Amazon Verified Purchase
By Matt Wolthoff
One of my objectives when writing The West Texas Pilgrimage was to create nostalgia amongst Texan readers of my generation and nothing incites nostalgia for me more than a song. Music is a cultural element that both defines and captures an era like almost nothing else can. Try thinking about the fifties without conjuring up the sounds of Buddy Holly and Elvis, or the sixties without The Beatles, The Doors, and Motown. The West Texas Pilgrimage is set in 2010 and the largely Texan/Americana genre soundtrack should be very familiar to readers of the character’s mid-twenties age group.
Songwriters are the modern day poets that create this music and The State of Texas seems to have a way of creating and inspiring them. The West Texas Pilgrimage Soundtrack is an ode to some of the greatest of their time, and some of my personal heroes. Each song was carefully picked out for the scene that it appears in and has tremendous meaning of its’ own. These songs helped shape me, both as a young man and as a writer, and this story wouldn’t be right without them. The full West Texas Pilgrimage experience is not complete without the book in one hand, a cold Lone Star Beer or cocktail of choice in the other, and the soundtrack playing in the background. I truly hope that the playlist will help inspire the nostalgia that I set out to create.
(or join Spotify for free!)
- No More Buffalo-James McMurtry
- Bloody Mary Morning-Willie Nelson
- Blame it on Mexico-George Strait
- Mexican Blackbird-ZZ Top
- You Shook Me All Night Long-AC-DC
- Ain’t no God in Mexico-Waylon Jennings
- The Week of Living Dangerously-Steve Earle
- Ben McCulloch-Steve Earle
- Lone Star Hotel-Guy Clark
- Rolling By-Robert Earl Keen
- Dead Flowers-Townes Van Zandt
- Southside of Heaven-Ryan Bingham
- Out in the Parking Lot-Guy Clark
- The Road Goes on Forever-Robert Earl Keen
- Gringo Honeymoon-Robert Earl Keen
- Bob Wills is Still the King-Waylon Jennings
- Pancho and Lefty-Townes Van Zandt
- Stay a Little Longer-Willie Nelson
Matthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas, with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children, Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in South Texas, where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration—and peace of mind—in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the South Texas brush country. His first West Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life-changing event.
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