"Michael Smith's gripping novel takes us on an
often times harrowing journey through days lost and days seized.
His story is the authentic 'road novel,' but more of a relation
to Robert Frost's 'road less traveled' than Kerouac. Smith defies
the tragedy so often found in novels of addiction. He offers us
recovery without sentimentality, and his words deliver real hope
in even the darkest hours." -Geoff Schutt,
"Mr. Smith's talent lies in how he describes
events. The book grabbed my attention from the first sentence so
effortlessly. As I read, it was as if I'd been part of the
narrative all along. I find the best books I read are like that.
They just pull you in without you realizing how." -Martha
In a universe of probabilities, somewhere, out
there, it's possible for a Jack, our hero, to journey on the
`Road to Fort Worth,' and make it there alive. In our world,
faced by insane odds, deranged and terrified oneself,
volunteering for every narcissistic indulgence and masochistic
self-slaughter imaginable, it's highly unlikely to happen.
Further, on our world, livers are not designed to survive such
brutal, toxic torture.
Fortunately, for you and I, and most importantly, for himself,
Michael Jackson Smith defied the odds and accidentally maintained
breathing in and out.
There are some books that distract you for an evening and are
then forgotten. `The Road to Fort Worth' does not belong in this
class of books. This novel gets inside you because it's the real
deal. This is our life, folks, not fluffy bunnies, rainbows, or
Technicolor ponies. This is real life, where we suffer, long to
be filled, we explore, rub ourselves raw, cater to our every and
slightest whim, we love, hate, regret, we age and die, to be no
I'm thankful that Mr. Smith had the courage, the fortitude, the
heart to write `The Road to Fort Worth.' This novel is embodied
compassion, compassion for self, and compassion for the hurting
world. `The Road to Fort Worth' is like Pandora's box, where, at
the very end, we find a subtle, yet all-powerful, force:
`The Road to Fort Worth' is told beautifully, lyrically, with a
unique voice and quotation punctuation. The novel is as
individual as the brilliant man who wrote it, and you owe it to
yourself to investigate. I urge you to dive right in, if you so
choose. -Joshua Bigger, Author
Michael Smith's book The Road To Fort Worth is an
inspirational trip down the author's own road to hell then
freedom. As a sufferer of panic disorder myself, I know how hard
it is to overcome this. Alcohol can certainly calm the nerves
but, as Mr. Smith soon found out, it can lead to problems of its
own. Not until he's battling alcoholism and panic disorder does
he wake up and realize there has to be help out there for him.
Though true help was a long time coming.
No matter where he was directed it just seemed to make matters
worse or only helped for so long before he started the downward
spiral again. Would nobody truly understand what he was going
through and help him rather than masking his problems with
prescription drugs, shoving him from one form of treatment to
another, all with no positive result?
In the end this is a book about hope, about never giving up on
yourself no matter how bleak the present and future may seem.
It's a book that instills the comfort and reality that miracles
do happen. -Kelly Wallace, Author
Twitter Mentions @Road_2_Ft_Worth
-You churn out gold like it's butter! -Zack
-Read the excerpt for Chapter 8 - wonderful prose. I congratulate
you on this endeavor. I wish you the best with it. -Jennifer
-Just bought the book because of the tweet! Ah, the power of
twitter! :) -Diana Fletcher
-We love your book Michael - great read. God hugs to you.
-Good read - really hit home. xx -nikita stokes
-Hi Michael. I'm eager to read your book soon. My site follows
ptsd from my own pov. Many are happy you wrote this book, I'm
sure. Take care. -Terry Gibson, Author
-I just bought: 'The Road To Fort Worth' by Michael Jackson Smith
via KindleUK -Honor Hancock
-I'm so into this chapter that everything disappeared around me
for a min. Impressed -cheeky_dre Andrea
-Read an excerpt of ur book.....WOW! You, Friend. Are VERY
talented. God Bless you and keep you! -IzzyB
-LOVED the excerpt will be getting the book I need to know what
happens to Jack. Good work!!! ;-) -Geovanna Jardine
It is good I will get myself a copy and you should try to get it
translated in Dutch, it could sell, just the kind of book we
Thanks for the info The Sunday painter is no Sunday writer The
2nd novel looks promising as well Dutch translation possible Keep
And I'm pleased I can read this book. You have a contagious
style. Please keep writing. -Diane Breedveld
-Is your book going to be made into a motion
picture? -D.J. Whitfield
-Your excerpt was compelling. Having been in a similar situation,
it spoke to me very deeply. Kudos for writing it.
-Thanks! Love it. The topic of your book has personal meaning for
me. Have you turned this into an audio book version? -Jason
Rehab: The Director's Speech
From Chapter 8 - Posted On Band Back Together
-There is an edge to this post that makes it really
hard to read. But there is a truth to it so strong that those of
us who have faced addiction and kicked it in the taco can also
recognize. I am grateful to those who told me the truth when I
was trying to find my way through the mess. Step by step, breath
by breath, moment to moment. These are all we can do in the act
of finding our way. The bigger picture becomes clear once we
muscle our way through the hard stuff. Thanks for posting this.
It is a great reminder of the road traveled. I hope those who
need to, will be able to find the message of strength and hard
choices and no excuses too. -Karen
-This is a tough post. Thank you for sharing.
-This one took my breath away. Great post. -Chibi
-Wow. I love the shit outta this - thank you!
-Sending you peace on your journey. Take care.
-The epitome of tough love. A very raw and real
post. Thank you. -I Want Thursdays
-Great post! It brought back a lot of tough
memories. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. -still
-This post is so much like that hard truth that was
spoken to me when I first found my way into the rooms of
recovery. The people who told me "work the steps, motherfucker,
or die" & "shut the fuck up, you don't know shit" are the
ones I HEARD, because somehow my sick ass knew that they told the
fucking truth. The ones who told me "oh, baby, it's gonna be all
right" are the ones who are still coming back in the rooms
picking up their 'desire chips' and white key tags. Thank you for
sharing the hard truth about addiction. It is a truth that saves
Overview of The Road To Fort Worth
Jack Wendell's rite of passage into adulthood began
three hours before midnight on the eve of his twenty-first
birthday. On his stroll across campus, he watched one foot follow
the other in a rhythmic pattern and thought about time. As he
stepped from the past into the future, he was stunned by the
realization that the present moment was so fleeting that it
couldn't exist. His breathing became shallow and feelings of
horror flushed through his body in spasms, like waves crashing on
the shoreline, retreating, then returning in another blow. He was
convinced that he had entered a portal into hell, and he endured
the agony of the next three hours. When the clock struck
midnight, he entered a bar, ordered a glass of whiskey, and the
elixir washed away his panic with three magic bends of his
This was only the beginning of Wendell's long love
affair with booze, his only relief from the anxiety attacks that
haunted him in an era when little was known about the disorder.
He couldn't function with the anxiety that possessed him and
drank in an attempt to control his horrifying feelings, but
couldn't work in a perpetual state of intoxication. On his
journey, he encountered a host of unlikely companions and
circumstances, including rehabs, institutions, therapists and a
horde of dysfunctional people who would harbor him for a time,
yet, sooner or later, he was forced onto the street again in
search of another haven, where he could drink to his heart's
The Road To Fort Worth is a long overdue
novel about a man suffering from panic disorder and alcoholism.
It could be seen as a continuation of Charles R. Jackson's
classic novel, The Lost Weekend. It's the story of a life
on the rocks with a twist of lemon. It's the story of how one man
learned to untie the inextricable knot binding two debilitating
disorders that so many people have been unable to unravel.
-Michael Jackson Smith
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free."
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