|“A masterful and nuanced book… This is hands-down one of my favorite books of the year. I absolutely loved it.”
— Julie Davis, SFF Audio/Forgotten Classics
When their mother is lost in a terrible car crash, two children set out to bring her back from the Underworld — a nightmare place populated by remnants from old mythologies, defunct pantheons, and forgotten folklore. Along the way, the children discover that they cannot rescue their mother without rescuing themselves first.
Sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, and often heartbreaking, Assam & Darjeeling is the story of a brother and sister who have to go through hell together in order to learn the true meaning of family.
From the reviews…
“The depth and literary flesh of the two lead characters is one main draw of the work, but the real star here is Camp’s near-perfect prose. This is a beautifully written book, plain and simple. Few contemporary authors write with such elegance.”
“One of the truest pleasures of Assam & Darjeeling is the relationship between the forceful younger sister, Darjeeling, and the thoughtful, sensitive older brother, Assam. The way that they work together to save their mother, yet often clash in the details of how they must proceed is what carries the story and makes us believe in their relationship. It rings true to anyone who has siblings whom they love but who also have the capacity to irritate beyond belief in daily life.”
“Think about Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. Perhaps another consideration would be Pan’s Labyrinth. These comparison’s easily come to mind when I listen to Assam and Darjeeling. However, another reason for the comparison comes to mind as well. Both are great stories, but I really wouldn’t allow my children to see either of them for years yet. Assam and Darjeeling touched me in a way NO OTHER work of podfiction to date has. I admit, I’m a softy when it comes to family. This story reached inside me and played my “daddy” strings the way a master luthier might be able too play a mandolin. I am so glad I finally remembered to listen to this story, and I highly recommend you take the time to give it a try too.”
“I’m highly impressed with the writing… You can see that he has a confidence in his own writing… I would read another book by this author without question. The level is very high.”
“The first podiobook I ever listened to, this story holds a special place in my heart. It’s amazingly well written, and held my attention through all four books. I recommend this one to everyone I meet.”
“This is a hauntingly captivating story and the production is very professional.”
“I really enjoy T.M.’s writing. I’ve been talking a lot about him to my friends lately. I’m rarely intrigued so by an author’s style. This is one such author… This is a Must Read.”
Today’s my grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 106 years old. I don’t have a lot of memories of him. We moved away when I was very young and I only saw him a handful of times after that. But the memories I do have are special.
I wrote this a few years back. For what it’s worth, you can see the bowl of grapes in the photo…
A plastic bowl of grapes.
The dusty, almost-black globes
polished by our fingertips.
The tart snap of the skin between my teeth.
He teaches me to spit out the seeds,
the stones bitter on the tip of my tongue.
Wrestling old Smoky to the ground,
he bites the dog’s ears, both of them growling.
I watch, I laugh,
wondering if he will get fleas.
The rigid line of his dentures,
sticking them out at us when no one was looking.
Laughing, terrified by the sudden appearance
of that slick pink plastic, the crown of his teeth.
The walking sticks, later the canes
by the door.
The carved one, the snake’s head
poised to strike.
Wrestling him to the shag carpet
in my aunt’s apartment.
Two year old champion, I pin him down
and I strike.
My mother flares with anger: “Don’t you hit my daddy.”
the stiff movement of home movies.
Memories, stories told around the family, heirlooms.
So little I can claim for my own.
His voice, surprisingly high.
Rusty, wavering and punctuated
by strange, inarticulate sounds
like a crow in flight.
Surprising myself with tears,
when I introduced my wife to him.
She in black, long hair pulled back.
He already under his stone, so long.