The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart

By M. Glenn Taylor

There’s little room in this world for a moral man

Meet Early “Trenchmouth“ Taggart, a man born and orphaned in 1903, a man nicknamed for his lifelong oral affliction. His boyhood is shaped by the Widow Dorsett, a strong mountain woman who teaches him to hunt and survive the taunts of others. In the hills of southern West Virginia, a boy grows up fast. Trenchmouth sips moonshine, handles snakes, pleasures women, and masters the rifle – a skill that lands him in the middle of the West Virginia coal wars. A teenaged union sniper, Trenchmouth is exiled to the backwoods of Appalachia’s foothills, where he spends his years running from the past. But trouble will sniff a man down, and an outlaw will eventually run home. Here, Trenchmouth Taggart’s story, like the best ballads, etches its mark deep upon the memory.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 07 Jan 2010
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0-00-733773-6
Glenn Taylor was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. His first novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. Taylor lives in Morgantown, West Virginia with his wife and three sons. He teaches in the English Department at West Virginia University.

'[a] galloping, defiant epic…a virtuoso performance…vigorous and sincere, located squarely in the tradition of Twain, Faulkner and McCullers.' THE GUARDIAN -

'In Early 'Trenchmouth' Taggart…Taylor has created a marvellous, jump-off-the-page character…a defiantly incredible creation…The writing is limber, and the real life it bundles up into its freakish, charismatic character make this a genuine success that admirers of John Irving - and others too - will surely enjoy.' THE INDEPENDENT -

'[A] mesmerisingly fluid narrative…Smart, brash, but totally convincing, this has the makings of a page-turning literary sensation.' WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY -

'A confident, funny and often surprising read.' METRO -

'Wildly inventive.' THE TIMES -

”'This is indeed a book that succeeds in its early pages to completely capture the reader.” - LE MONDE

”'It is an exceptional novel with a rare picaresque power…Taylor is a master.” - LE FIGARO

'Taylor's prose is so fluid and seemingly effortless that The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart bridges the usually irreconcilable gap between popular fiction and literary fiction. It's that rare creature-a literary page-turner. . .The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart is a stunning, fully realized, unique and ambitious book that proves there's still passion, fire and brilliance in the American novel.' HOUSTON CHRONICLE -

'An energetic romp.' DAZED AND CONFUSED -

'Think of this novel as an American version of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude.'' BOB HOOVER, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE -