And other works by Michael Jackson Smith


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Free - Chapter 8: Danville

Reader Reviews

"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, Novelist


"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 Garcia


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 more.

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: Hope.

`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 Wilson

-Read the excerpt for Chapter 8 - wonderful prose. I congratulate you on this endeavor. I wish you the best with it. -Jennifer Donohoe

-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. -Speedprayers

-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 like.

Thanks for the info The Sunday painter is no Sunday writer The 2nd novel looks promising as well Dutch translation possible Keep me posted.

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. -Vanimore_

-Thanks! Love it. The topic of your book has personal meaning for me. Have you turned this into an audio book version? -Jason Inman

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. -JTook

-This one took my breath away. Great post. -Chibi Jeebs

-Wow. I love the shit outta this - thank you! -ms.chessnudt

-Sending you peace on your journey. Take care. -amourningmom

-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 standing

-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 lives. -Cindy

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 elbow.

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 content.

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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