In the new civil war of
red state, the Archer family is caught in the middle!
Paul Archer is determined to stay focused and
avoid the mistakes of his trailer park family. But when his girlfriend demands commitment his only escape is an off-road camping trip with his
Bible-thumping brother and gun-totin' father.
Driving his luxury SUV over a trail without
pavement, bridges, bathrooms, or (God help him) cell service is not Paul's ideal
vacation. But while the tranquil Colorado wilderness turns out to be the perfect
place for an Archer family reunion, why all the big guns? And the obsession with
that horrible tragedy from thirty years ago? If this is a hunting trip, it sure ain't
What is Off Road really
In 2004 George W. Bush had just been reelected President by a respectable majority.
This left half the country wandering about
shell shocked that such a travesty could happen and the other half not
necessarily ecstatic, but thinking the country had avoided a disaster. How could
a country so successful be so divided?
For the liberal left I think the bitter disbelief is
perhaps best summed up in
vitriolic post by a Keith Olbermann wannabe:
So let us secede,
Blue America and Red America. We can handle the Blue
state Republicans, so long as we don't have a lot of
ignorant Red state lemmings frustrating our efforts and
screwing themselves in the bargain. Secession will
enable us both to live as we have chosen without the
other's interference. We will prosper, and you will get
But do stay in
touch after the borders slam shut. When you finally tire
of living on the modern, corporate plantations of
Cargill, Tyson, ConAgra and Smithfield; when you tire of
shopping at Wal-Mart and sending your daughters to sling
hash at Denny's in hopes that they'll meet the nicer
sort of truck driver; when you tire of sneaking into
Blue America as illegal white-trash wetbacks eager for
casual work dusting our parlors; and when, like men, you
finally rise up in rebellion against this immoral usury
-- then, and only then, let us talk.
But the anger of the "Progressive"
movement at traditional (conservative) America is more than just political. How
often have you heard, or for that matter said, phrases like
Crazy born-agains are as bad as Al Qaeda.
Religion is the cause of all the problems
of the world.
It's all these crazy religious zealots who
keep us from make the country/world better.
All intolerance stems from religious
But through it this hyperbole some Americans
had (and hopefully still have) their priorities in order. One night I saw an interview
with two brothers – one
worked for Bush and the other for Kerry –
who were outspoken and on opposite sides on the political battlefield. But at
family reunions they played games together and kept a civil discussion about
family, food, and their children. Which is as it should be, but I couldn't stop thinking about that family dynamic;
how would the author of the above post treat a family member who supported
George W. Bush? How would a person who considered the progressive movement to be
the enemy of America treat a Kerry supporter he was related to?
Thus were born the Archer's
– a family torn
apart by their life choices, fate, and a horrendous crime. A family that is at a
crossroads from which there is no turning back.
Off Road is written for both
"progressive" and "conservative" Americans. Liberal progressives will come to understand their more conservative brethren, and conservatives will find
an understanding of how the far left thinks.
Either that, or I've just thrown more fuel on the fire.
If you've read this far, you know that
the themes of this book are God,
big trucks (off-roading),
and family. So I've dedicated a page
with some thoughts on each subject and an excerpt from the novel itself. Or
avoid wasting time reading excerpts and just
buy the novel at
Barnes and Noble to read for yourself.
And by all means, let me know what you think.