1st Printing Features: Trade paper, Gatefold
The Vine That Ate the South
a novel by
Preorder this title now!
PRINT ISBN: 978-1-937512-55-2
RELEASE DATE: 3/14/2017
“A sly, rollicking Southern phantasmagoria that finds the sweet spot between tall tale and something more dangerous and psychological. Hilarious, profane, entertaining, and sneakily written. The illustrations are brilliant, too.”
"Kentuckians Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp would be cackling to beat the devil over this brazen tribute to folklore, tradition, and hillbilly rituals. What's fascinating is how Wilkes taps into ancient archetypes to transform everyday characters into phantasmagoric figures by wrapping them in Southern euphemisms, counterintuitive contexts, and florid language more at home in a pulpit. An epic of Wagnerian proportions... Wilkes' debut is a rich and heartfelt yarn that resonates as deeply as his music."
With the energy, wit, and singularity of vision that have earned him a reputation as a celebrated and charismatic musician, The Vine That Ate the South announces J.D. Wilkes as an accomplished storyteller on a surreal, Homeric voyage that strikes at the very heart of American mythology.
In a forgotten corner of western Kentucky lies a haunted forest referred to locally as "The Deadening," where vampire cults roam wild and time is immaterial. Our protagonist and his accomplice—the one and only, Carver Canute—set out down the Old Spur Line in search of the legendary Kudzu House, where an old couple is purported to have been swallowed whole by a hungry vine. Their quest leads them face to face with albino panthers, Great Dane-riding girls, protective property owners, and just about every American folk-demon ever, while forcing the protagonist to finally take stock of his relationship with his father and the man's mysterious disappearance.
The Vine That Ate the South is a mesmerizing fantasia where Wilkes ambitiously grapples with the contradictions of the contemporary American South while subversively considering how well we know our own family and friends.
The Vine That Ate the South by J.D. Wilkes =
* In most cases (except in this case; Homer fucking loves this book and thinks you should read it), none of these writers endorse this book. Our math formulas are supposed to be amusing anecdotes, similar to shelf-talkers in bookstores that say "If you like X, you might enjoy Y," or "This Book is like Cormac McCarthy writing an episode of Saved by the Bell with a soundtrack by Philip Glass."
"I have an announcement to make: There's a new boy in town and his name is J.D. Wilkes. Put away whatever "southern" books or regional "literary" knick-knacks you've been messing with. The Vine that Ate the South is a wild Kentucky vampire of a book and will wash you in the power of the blood. When scholars from the future come to study the crazy country myths of the melungeons and moth man, Daniel Boone and the secret rural heart of our invisible republic—this book will be their Rosetta stone."
"Wilkes’s sardonic humor and twisting literary explorations of Southern lore are as relentless as the kudzu entwining the story, and more fun than being attacked by revenge-bent ghosts."
"Wilkes is a one-man Southern Renaissance."
"Deep in the Jackson Purchase (of Kentucky), a half-feral hillbilly child was weaned on punk rock, MAD Magazine and underground comix. Wilkes’ art has the charm I love… but with a little more edge and rural crust. (His) underground sensibilities lock in for the long haul; though I expected nothing less than greatness from my brother from ‘The Dark and Bloody Ground’."
“I think JD is one of those genius guys who has only been discovered by a smaller audience. But that makes sense, because a broader audience doesn’t really go in for anything different. I love the fact that he’s experimental. He’s a very creative cat.”
—Billy Bob Thornton
“JD convey(s) the dark and twisted underbelly of a country steeped in contradictions.”
“[Wilkes writes] mind-blowing lyrics rife with Biblical references and ruminations of life, death, sin and redemption.”
J.D. Wilkes is an American visual artist, musician, author, filmmaker, and Kentucky Colonel. He is also an avid purveyor of traditional American music and an accomplished musician. But he is perhaps best known as the charismatic frontman for the Legendary Shack Shakers, a band that has been described as a “dynamite group” by author/fan Stephen King, and whose music has been featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for HBO’s TrueBlood. Wilkes is the author of Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky, an exploration of his state's rich folk music heritage.
Enjoy a sneak peek read of The Vine That Ate the South here, on Issuu, and get a serious look inside the book:
LIST PRICE: $15.99
PRINT ISBN: 978-1-937512-55-2
DIGITAL ISBN: 978-1-937512-56-9
RELEASE DATE: 4/2017
SIZE: 5.5" x 7.5"
Printed in Canada by Marquis, with the following environmental statement:
*Inside printed on Enviro 100% post-consumer EcoLogo certified paper, processed chlorine free and manufactured using biogas energy.
*FSC certified paper (inside and cover).