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by William Least Heat-Moon

Celestial Mechanics

Celestial Mechanics

“Imaginative work about a man’s quest for true connection.” —Foreword Reviews

“In his fiction debut, Heat-Moon (Blue Highways) stages philosophical and spiritual debates in an elegant story of one man’s search for meaning in the cosmos. . . . This thought-provoking novel is rife with relatable and complex musings.” —Publishers Weekly

“An erudite, sophisticated, inherently engaging, and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end.” —Midwest Book Review

“A travelogue of the spirit.” —The Proximal Eye

“Darkly ethereal and engaging reading. …wrestles with profound ideas of contemporary urgency and significance.” —University of Toledo Digital Review

“The author of the best-selling travel memoir Blue Highways makes his fiction debut with this erudite novel. …Definitely for fans of philosophical novels and Least Heat-Moon’s nonfiction.” —Library Journal

FINALIST, FOREWORD REVIEWS 2017 INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR BEST FICTION!!!

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In this emotional tale of haunted love, CELESTIAL MECHANICS’s Silas Fortunato finds himself locked in a marriage descending toward darkness until the arrival of his sister-in-law and soon thereafter the appearance of a witching neighbor who may or may not be alive. In ways enigmatic, ghostly, and funny, the three women draw him into the equivocal nature of dreams and reality, their influences leading Silas on a journey toward what may be light and a new belonging to something vastly beyond him.

The debut novel of famed Blue Highways author William Least Heat-Moon, CELESTIAL MECHANICS embarks on a journey through the mind and wrestles with life’s major questions, like the nature of the Cosmos, the value of knowledge, and the essence of truly being alive. Heat-Moon has already proven he is a master at taking readers on powerful journeys as shown in his initial release Blue Highways, which spent 42 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. CELESTIAL MECHANICS is a Blue Highways of the mind, in which the author leads readers on a path unlike any other, offering new insight into finding one’s place in this universe we struggle to understand.

Just as Heat-Moon’s nonfiction employs many fictional narrative techniques, CELESTIAL MECHANICS draws upon nonfictional devices to build a story that crosses traditional boundaries between the two. It is the clarion call of a generation that believes rationality and spirituality can—and should—coexist, a generation defined by globalization, where the only things left unknown are what is within and beyond us, those cosmic realms revealed by the telescope and the quantum world suggested by the microscope. This book is for readers steeped in a hustle-and-bustle world that seems impossible to escape; for those who believe that practices like mindfulness and rational deduction and childlike wonder are the keys to the kind of fulfillment commercial aspects of life can never hope to address.

CELESTIAL MECHANICS: A Tale for a Mid-Winter Night
by William Least Heat-Moon
978-1-941110-56-0 Hardcover
408 pages; $28.00; TRP-064
Publication date: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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High Praise for CELESTIAL MECHANICS

FINALIST, FOREWORD REVIEWS 2017 INDIE BOOK AWARDS, FICTION

“An erudite, sophisticated, inherently engaging, and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end, “Celestial Mechanics” is unreservedly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

“In his fiction debut, Heat-Moon (Blue Highways) stages philosophical and spiritual debates in an elegant story of one man’s search for meaning in the cosmos. . . . This thought-provoking novel is rife with relatable and complex musings.” —Publishers Weekly

“An innovative and unique novel that wrestles with profound ideas of contemporary urgency and significance.” —University of Toledo Digital Review

“An entrancing journey toward deeper insight into the cosmos, an exploration readers will share and savor with every masterfully crafted sentence. Highly recommended for fans of Heat-Moon and readers who enjoy philosophical fiction.” —Booklist

“The author of the best-selling travel memoir Blue Highways makes his fiction debut with this erudite novel that touches on a multitude of areas, including science, theology, philosophy, and psychiatry. . . . Definitely for fans of philosophical novels and Least Heat-Moon’s nonfiction.” —Library Journal

“Both a journey and the musings of a philosophical mind.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A sprawling, fantastical work about a man’s spiritual journey, Celestial Mechanics is the first novel by William Least Heat-Moon, who is well-known for his best-selling Blue Highways.
This is imaginative work about a man’s quest for true connection.” — Foreword Reviews

“A road trip of souls. William Least-Heat Moon has taken a story of people making choices incompatible with their own desires and natures and given us a travelogue of the spirit. The trajectories of these three people, each one trying to find their place in a cosmos crowded with distraction and uncertainty, reveal the geography of the self and the gravity of choice. In the end we’re offered a map of roads oft-traveled and too little remarked on the journey to hope.” —The Proximal Eye

“Engaging, employing nonfictional devices to build a story that crosses the traditional boundaries of ‘rationality and spirituality’, “Celestial Mechanics” is a unique and extraordinary novel that is as entertaining as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. As mysterious and stirring as a midnight snowfall, Celestial Mechanics invites the reader to ponder their role in the Universe along with the truth-seeking protagonist. Author William Least Heat-Moon is a novelist with a genuine flair for original and deftly crafted storytelling.” —Midwest Review of Books

“A haunting love story that oscillates between dream and reality.” —Stay Thirsty Media

“A tour de force . . . Many readers will experience what I have experienced — expanding the mind to grasp what the author is teaching through his fiction.” —Columbia Daily Tribune

Previous Praise for WILLIAM LEAST HEAT-MOON

Blue Highways: A Journey into America
“Wondrous . . . brilliant . . . a stunningly good book.” —The New York Times

PrairyErth: A Deep Map
“Our modern-day Walden.” —The Chicago Sun-Times

River-Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America
“A rich chronicle of a massive and meaningful undertaking.” —Publishers Weekly

Here, There and Everywhere: Stories from the Road
“An essential title; highly recommended.” —Library Journal


About William Least Heat-Moon

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WILLIAM LEAST HEAT-MOON, pen name of William Trogdon, is of English, Irish, and Osage ancestry. He lives in Missouri on an old tobacco farm he’s returning to forest.

His first book, Blue Highways, tells of a 13,000-mile journey around America on back roads. His second work, PrairyErth, is a narrative exploration into a corner of the great tallgrass prairie in eastern Kansas. River-Horse gives an account of his four-month sea-to-sea voyage across the United States on rivers, lakes, and canals. In Roads to Quoz, Heat-Moon sets out for a half-dozen American destinations that have long intrigued him. Here, There, Elsewhere brings together a collection of his short-form reportage about places around the world.

His five major books and the recent Writing Blue Highways have never been out of print. CELESTIAL MECHANICS is his first novel.


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