REVIEWS AND QUOTES
"Simply a great thriller--full of action but about people, tough but not bleak, fast and yet thoughtful. Highly recommended."
Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author
"SAILOR is a modern-day fable, compelling and heartbreaking. It will grab you from page one and keep you a grateful hostage until its surprising and moving conclusion."
Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author
"SAILOR is a great read! Just as you think you know where you're going, Tom Epperson throws another twist in your path. Style and story, I loved it all."
Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author
"Employing spare, almost hallucinatory prose, and a keen eye for detail, Tom Epperson has created an unforgettable cast of characters set against a sun-bleached noir background. By turns frightening and darkly comic, SAILOR is the literary equivalent of a Coen brothers film."
Eric Van Lustbader, New York Times bestselling author
"In this exquisitely written, expertly plotted thriller, a desperate woman and her young son, on the run from her vengeful father-in-law (she’s responsible for her husband being incarcerated), puts her trust and her last chance for survival in the hands of Gray, a man with a shadowy past.
This is a hard-edged thriller, full of violence, action, and suspense. Its hero, Gray, is appropriately mysterious, and the main villain, a man working both sides of the law to find the runaway mother and son, is despicable on a level that might have rendered him cartoonish, if it weren’t for the author’s steady hand and ability to know just how delicately he can thread the line between realism and “oh, come on, now.”
In places, the novel reads like a modernday noir; in others, it feels like a Tarantino movie—not surprising, perhaps, from an author whose 2009 debut novel The Kind One was Edgar-nominated and who makes movies with Billy Bob Thornton. If this one doesn’t also get an award nomination or two, it’ll be a big surprise—and a gross injustice."
Booklist, starred review
"A high-energy read with a veritable smorgasbord of bad guys: a crooked U.S. marshal, a Russian hit man, a sweet kidnapper, and a Chinese power broker who reads the English classics. ...A solid, engaging thriller with fully fleshed-out characters. Recommended for fans of gritty suspense novels who like their villains vulgar and their heroes noble."
"Like The Kind One, which was one of the most enjoyable novels in recent memory, Sailor is a breezy, smart tour through familiar low-life tropes and hard boiled characters that has the lingering afterglow of literary fiction. (The closest parallel may be Elmore Leonard. Epperson is every bit that good, if not that prolific.)... With black humor and grim assurance, Epperson pushes his twisting tale beyond the conventions of the genre, delivering a humane and strangely moral tale where every action engenders consequences which even the worst thugs must consider... [Epperson] wields his spare prose like a razor - you don't even feel it as he cuts out your heart."
The Wall Street Journal
Horror and Laughter
By TOM NOLAN
In the world of Tom Epperson's violent, subtle and often beautiful thriller "Sailor"(Forge, 352 pages, $24.99), kindness coexists with cruelty: A hit man yearns to protect the youngster he has been hired to abduct; a Mafioso dispenses death with one hand and familial love with the other. This book is as au courant as any crime-fiction novel or neo-noir flick, but its themes (courage, morality, loyalty, grace under pressure) are as old as Hemingway or Lao-tzu. It seems fitting that the reluctant hero of "Sailor" is a Southern California drifter named Gray.
The Wall Street Journal, Friday April 13, 2012
Book review: 'Sailor' by Tom Epperson
By Nancie Clare
If I were a damsel in distress fleeing a past and people who wanted me dead, like Gina Cicala in the modern noir thriller "Sailor" by Tom Epperson, I'd want to meet a guy like Gray too. And if I were Gray, a mysterious stranger with a tortured past, the kind of guy who rescues dogs from their abusive owners, meeting an on-the-lam beautiful woman with a preternaturally bright son would just make perfect sense.
Los Angeles Times, Friday April 4, 2012
The Orange County Register
Tom Epperson brings ‘Sailor’ to Book Carnival in Orange
by Peter Larsen
Tom Epperson first came to the idea that eventually became his new book “Sailor” in the early ‘90s, though he thought of it first as a screenplay for Hollywood, a world in which he’d recently found a measure of success as the co-writer of the movie “One False Move” with his boyhood friend Billy Bob Thornton.
Orange County Register, Friday April 6, 2012
The Buddy System
by Tom Nolan
My books, if you’ve noticed, they’re kinda heavy on action,” Tom Epperson is saying of his two novels, The Kind One, nominated for an Edgar Award in 2008, and this month’s publication of Sailor. “I don’t necessarily mean shoot-’em-up action, but I tell what happens, and then I have the people talking. I don’t speak in my own voice, telling the reader what everything means. I just kinda lay it out there and try to make it as visual as possible, which is of course cinematic.”
Pulp Fiction Reviews
by Ron Fortier
Tom Epperson is a stylist whose writing displays a truly unique sensibility rarely found in the field of modern thrillers before. He writes about complex people both good and bad, each locked into a personal moral code that propels them to accomplish wonderful feats of heroism or disgusting acts of depravity. When they collide through various unrelated chains of events the results are scenes of mesmerizing action.
Pulp Fiction Rewiews, Friday April 8, 2012
Billy Bob Thornton...attends Tom Epperson book-signing @ Book Soup! "Sailor" flies off shelves!
By Julian Ayrs
For fans of Tom Epperson, the cozy little shop on Sunset just shy of Larrabee Street (where intriguing maze-like aisles lined with rickety shelves stacked full of books beckon from bottom-to-top) was the hottest ticket in town on Tuesday night.
Zimbio, Friday March 30, 2012
Exclusive Interview: Tom Epperson
Blackstone Audio is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Tom Epperson, acclaimed screenwriter and award-winning author of Sailor. Conducting the interview is award-winning narrator and Blackstone’s studio director Grover Gardner.
Blackstone Audio, Friday April 10, 2012
Arthur Kade - Video Interview
On The Run With “Sailor” With Acclaimed Author and ScreenWriter Tom Epperson
by Arthur Kade
Tom Epperson is the perfect example of everything great about “Show Business” because he is a success that took a decade plus of hard work, many failures, and never ever giving up to happen!! Tom, along with his childhood best friend, Billy Bob Thornton (Yep..that Billy Bob Thornton!), came to LA (You have to listen to the interview below to understand the hilariousness and greatness of their journey that I think should be turned into a book/movie on it’s own!), and after years and years of “Trying to get their big break”, Tom has become one of the fastest rising stars in the Literary community and Screenwriting world.
Arthur Kade, April 23, 2012