It is 1894, and Nebraska’s glittering state capital draws young Bud Gardner away from drought and poverty towards a precarious existence within his uncle’s saloon, extended family, and eccentric circle of bootleggers. But amidst the whores, oddballs, and shady characters of Lincoln’s Haymarket district, Bud discovers Anna Marie, a fiery Czech girl—and the deadly forces that connect Chicago’s railroad strikes, Omaha’s slaughterhouse riots, a grisly Lincoln train wreck, and a local black man that has “conveniently” been accused of causing it.
Weaving together an intriguing storyline with the real historical events and luminaries of turn-of-the-century Lincoln, Nebraska, including John J. Pershing (commanding the Nebraska Corps of Cadets), Willa Cather (reporter for the State Journal), and Charles Dawes (lawyer and future Nobel Peace laureate), Barrelhouse Boys is a fictional romp through the gaslight era that shouldn’t be missed!
"Full of unexpected twists...vivid detail and lively dialogue. One inspired novel." (Nebraska Life magazine)
"A fascinating event in Nebraska history...refreshingly readable...great historical facts and a likable hero...with mystery, romance, bigotry and riots." (Omaha World-Herald)
"Rookie author Joel Williamsen creates an intriguing work of historical fiction. His interest in and extensive research of the history of his home state is evident in his first novel." (Lincoln Journal Star)
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He needs to slow down!