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Now Is the Hour

"A risky assay into the traditional bildungsroman, with this straightforward, but luminous tale. Rigby John's first-person narrative is at once reliable and highly ironic; we may know better, but he truly doesn't, and the distance is delicious." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Something else I can see clearly now. That day when I went looking for something believing I was going to find it and did. Nobody taught me that. Sure as hell didn't get that from Mom or Dad or Sis or Sister Bertha. Or the Pope. And it's got nothing to do with smart. Smart doesn't get you beyond fear, doesn't set you free." — from Now Is the Hour

About the Book

Aren't we all searching for something — a new phase of life, what it means to be loved, or simply a friend? Seventeen-year-old Rigby John Klusener is looking for something too, on the road hitchhiking to San Francisco from his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. Now Is the Hour (Houghton Mifflin, May 15, 2006), a new novel from Tom Spanbauer, tells the powerfully dramatic and inspiring story of how Rigby arrives at this moment and what he discovers about himself along the way.

Spanbauer, author of the cult classic The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, has written a very autobiographical coming-of-age story set in the 1960s. Pulling from his own experiences and inspirations, Spanbauer crafts the irresistible Rigby John — at times laughable and frustrating, yet wholly sympathetic. Rigby rises from the small-town, small-minded community of Pocatello like a phoenix from the ashes. He wrestles with family drama, being bullied at school and at home, and understanding his purpose. With strange, hilarious honesty, Rigby traces a number of life-altering events that culminate in him setting out on the road in search of independence.

A cast of entertaining and heart-rending characters reveals a world to Rigby very "differnt" from the one he's always known: Flaco and Acho, two friendly Mexican migrant workers; Billie Cody, his high school girlfriend; George Serano, the crazy, "queer Indian"; and George's intuitive Grandma Queep. The relationships Rigby builds are an intricate part of his movement away from his parents' ideology and way of life; they are an intricate part of his path to independence.

On Rigby's journey of discovery and ultimate liberation, he questions Catholic dogma, his burgeoning sexuality, and other mysteries of life and love. But most importantly, he courageously sheds the constraints of his upbringing and follows what he feels inside his heart. Now Is the Hour is not only an intimate portrait of self-awakening, but a riveting novel that speaks to the complex bonds of family in an America on the cusp of cultural change.

About the Author

Tom Spanbauer is the author of Faraway Places, In the City of Shy Hunters, and the cult classic The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for best fiction. His novels have been published in more than ten languages. Spanbauer lives in Portland, Oregon, where he writes and teaches "Dangerous Writing" classes. Several of his students, including Jennifer Lauck, Joanna Rose, Chuck Palahniuk, and Robert Hill, have gone on to publish successful novels.

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