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“This is as quintessential a Florida setting as possible.” 

Jason Katz, "The Peninsula of Lost Youth", Ploughshares

Bitter Southerner "2019 Summer Reading Roundup Pick"

“I’ve died and been born anew! C.H. Hooks is a damned wizard, and Alligator Zoo-Park Magic is a holy hell of a book.”


–Harrison Scott Key, author of Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World’s Largest Man

“C.H. Hooks’ mesmerizing novel, Alligator Zoo-Park Magic, hovers in the boundaries between city boys and country boys. a van named NAILR and a radiator-busting, beer-drinking deer. The world is both nature untamed and twisted in a theme park of mermaids and crispy-fried reptile bites. Yet, Hooks does so much more than create a new spin on the mystical, mythical South."  


–Erica Dawson, author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God

“AZPM is in the best tradition of Southern literature – it’s fast and funny, dark
and desperate.


–Shane Hinton, author of Pinkies editor of We Can’t Help if We’re From Florida


Two friends live unapologetically on the edge of poverty in the rugged, un-decorous part of the South. Jimmy, a single father with an addict ex, and Jeffers, a magician whose tricks are closer to miracles—both are immersed in a place where trailers and Hot Pockets dominate the landscape, and alligators roam free. When Jimmy witnesses “losing” his best friend to his biggest trick gone awry, he reflects on their lifelong friendship and what it really means to escape.

"Little" Bill Lemon, III, stands at the crossroads of a troubled legacy.

From the notorious "Monkey Palace," his grandfather's bar, to the enigmatic history of his father, Wild, to his mother's questionable dog-breeding business, Little takes to the dirt track every Saturday night, racing to outpace the looming shadows of his family's past. Behind the wheel of a ramshackle DIY car, in a place where scarcity reigns— be it money, jobs, food, or even soap to cleanse the stubborn Georgia red dirt— Little teeters on the edge of self-destruction and redemption. As he navigates life on the fringe of Southern backroads, the weight of his ancestry threatens to pull him under. While checkered flags may elude him on the track, Little possesses the heart of a true champion. Readers will find themselves on their feet in the stands, rallying for him as he plunges headfirst into a turbulent voyage of self-discovery and survival. Can’ t Shake the Dust is an exhilarating tale of resilience, tenacity, and the indomitable spirit of those who dare to race against all odds.

“The great racetrack in Darlington is called ‘Too Tough to Tame.’ The same might be said of C.H. Hooks. I kind of expect it on his tombstone, though I hope it’s in another 100 years. Can’t Shake the Dust, told from multiple points of view, never disappoints. It’s so easy to say ‘This is one wild ride,’ I know, but this is one wild ride. It belongs on the tragi-comic shelf with Harry Crews, Barry Hannah, et al.”


—George Singleton, author of You Want More”


“With Can’t Shake the Dust, C.H. Hooks gives us a raucous, red-eyed ballad of high-test tears and ground-pounding laughs that’ll cling to your soul like the red dirt of the title, making you remember the heart is a kind of engine, too.”


—Taylor Brown, author of Wingwalkers and Rednecks


“Strap in and let C.H. Hooks take you on a gonzo ride through the racing circuits and strip malls of South Georgia. Can’t Shake the Dust is a singular addition to the South’s raucous storytelling tradition. As much about aging as coming of age, Can’t Shake the Dust takes you beyond-the-track and into the blue-collar lives of those who can’t quit this beautiful, DIY sport. At once hilarious, strange, and tender—this brilliant novel you won’t soon forget. Long live the Lemons racing dynasty!”


—Caleb Johnson, author of Treeborne

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