[UPDATE May 2013: An earlier, draft version of the book was previously available for free download as a beta release. Now the book is out of beta and in edition 1 and for sale.]
This is how I have described the book:
Crossing the Continental Divide cuts a swath through the Midwest in the 21st century, where tradition meets oblivion. Yoss is a guy who lives near Cleveland but can’t help but hear the pulsing beats from nearby cities Chicago and Detroit. As his friend Eamon tries to help him make a name for himself as a DJ, Yoss wants everything to move faster so he tries to bribe his friend with tickets to Cleveland’s beloved Browns football team. In order to get his hands on these tickets he has to sit through church because his sanctimonious cousin has them to sell. After traveling around looking for what he wants Yoss eventually finds himself contemplating the possibility that some powerful force helped him find his way out West, to a halcyon moment of connection with a lovely singer–but that force is very possibly the ocean. On his way out there Yoss sees the whole range of house music performance–from a drunken club in the suburbs of Chicago to a shaking former church in Detroit, where he meets an attractive hipster teacher.
Tracking Yoss through his travels is to contemplate the disconnected nature of the modern dreamer–in a supposedly highly mobile society, so many people cling to old ideas while the system shakes beneath them. If he is to find what’s out there for him, he needs to be prepared to leave so many things behind.
Below is an excerpt from the book:
Yoss was trying to get to Eamon’s house in Stony River by mountain bike when the driZzzle started. Before long an enormous, sky-darkening thunderhead cloud was moving in–from the bridge Yoss was cycling on a view of Lake Erie revealed an amazing continuum panorama–to the east the sunny day that everyone on the area had been until this 3 o’clock hour enjoying was still visible, slipping out of view so slowly while the stormy left side of the view seemed to advance faster always until–whooosh a wall of wind and heavy rain descended. Soak-through conditions led Yoss to shelter under the awning of a local cleaners. Actually it was more than an awning, more like an overhanging roof structural element that was held up by a column in the middle which allowed two different archway accesses to the double doors. One archway led to the parking lot of a nearby grocery store, the other to the sidewalk. Mists and spritzes of foggy water dabbed Yoss and his bike but he was at least spared the full brunt of the storm for now. It can’t possibly keep going at this rate for long, he thought.
Eamon’s house was a typical cramped dwelling. So many baby boomer era houses with plenty of cramped rooms packed into small houses are dotted along the streets in western Cleveland and outwards. Stony River actually had plenty of bigger houses–some locals might have called Eamon’s place more of a west side kind of house–but that was because of the garish gazebo in the back. On the particular tradition of front porches, such a trademark Cleveland feature, Eamon’s house matched its neighbors in lacking a front porch.
‘Front porches, like detached garages, are a wonderful tradition of this area. Taste or quirk of history?’ Yoss wondered as he finally set out around 20 minutes later, still being rained on lightly but dry enough that he hoped his iPhone might survive. [Later he learned that it had, however his mid-range quality earbuds were effectively busted as one channel had stopped working--Yoss had stubbornly left them in (he had a hood!) to listen to a music podcast that features Gilliat that was really syncing up well with the loud, wet, rhythmic clunks of his beat-up mountain bike.] (READ MORE..)