T.F. Torrey's Things Worth Reading

The Desert King

In 1985, Jack finds adventure in the desert.

Get lost in the desert!

It’s 1985, and Jack Trexlor is finally out of the Arizona Insane Asylum. He’d like to simply tend bar, paint pictures, and lay low for a while, but when his old friend Macy Barnes turns up, things quickly spiral out of control. Macy introduces him to an enigmatic Navajo man named John Lupo and the high-adrenaline world of the desert. Thrilled by adventure, Jack accepts their invitation to a weekend fishing trip. By the cool water of the Verde River, deep in the heart of the desert, he thinks he just may find something he’s been missing. What he finds instead is trouble. The group grows to include John’s girlfriend and Macy’s wife, and snakes, scorpions, and the ghosts of Jack’s own past keep everybody on their toes. And when some poachers slink out of the sagebrush, things go from bad to worse. As their quiet fishing trip decays into a desperate ordeal of survival, Jack slowly comes to realize that, even if John Lupo can lead them out of the desert, nothing will ever be the same.


The new ebook is finally here, off to the stores at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and points east!. Everyone who already owns the current ebook edition should get the new edition semi-automatically or better. And The Desert King is now participating in Amazon’s Matchbook program, so anyone who bought the paper version from Amazon can get the e-book version for free. Stellar! Plus, I’m working on a coupon system so everyone who bought the paper version elsewhere can get the e-book version for free with a coupon at Smashwords.

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If you like to read previews online, you’ve found the right book.Between the the preludes and postlude, excerpts and extras, you can spend quite some time browsing the literature. Enjoy.

Online Excerpts

The excerpts present material from the book, exactly as it appears.


I wrote quite a fair number of little vignettes showing Jack’s life leading up to his adventures in The Desert King. In them, a reader will gain insight into Jack’s state of mind going into his adventures, as well as an appreciation of Jack’s apartment and work life, which are never really explored in the book. The stories are listed here in chronological order. “Getting Out” takes place in August of the year before the adventure, and the stories progress until “Home Is Where The Art Is”, which is about two weeks before the start of The Desert King.

If you like the book, you’ll like these. And if you like these, you’ll love the book.


And here is a postlude, from a time soon after the story, fleshing out an event referred to in the book (or is this simply a prelude for The Tonto Ten?).


Some other things of possible interest to fans: