Exit Wonderland


It all begins when Skye Pelter has a shouting match with his sister during a family vacation (yeah, politics) and leaves their cabin at Lake Tahoe. He ends up in Bridgeport, a little town east of Yosemite, and, after singing Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy” at a karaoke bar, meets Sarge McCollum, a reclusive billionaire who lives in a mansion built into an abandoned silver mine. Skye’s visit there is like a trip to Oz (Sarge having a fondness for jazz relics and exotic technologies), but what’s even better is what he discovers afterward: his ’86 Toyota pickup has been outfitted like a Bond car, and his bank account contains six figures (a “small cash incentive” for signing a non-disclosure agreement). So, thinks Skye, what would a Nature Boy do? He might take that car into the Nevada desert and end up in Winnemucca, where he might meet a sexy refugee Mormon housewife and take her to Hawaii. And then he might go to Colorado, and New York, and Cape Cod, where he might meet twins, and a collage artist, and Holly Golightly’s granddaughter, and a frozen vegetable heiress with a penchant for sheetrocking. A wild, free-wheeling adventure in the Kerouackian mode from the award-winning author of The Popcorn Girl and Frozen Music.

“There are passages of such sublime prose that the plot is almost beside the point. Vaughn dances with words, twirling and spinning them (never cajoling) into sparkling delights.”

— Jeanne Howard

“Vaughn brings his characters and locales to life with linguistic brilliance and a gentle wit.”

— William H. Burman