Road to Reckoning

A Novel

Road to Reckoning

“Remarkable…A novel about a young man reaching for manhood after the killing of his father and about the invention and selling of Col. Samuel Colt’s revolving pistol, and the way it changed the West. Those who love True Grit will love this” (Michael Korda, author of Hero).

One does not travel the path to vengeance alone

Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the “Improved Revolving Gun,” takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.

Thomas soon finds himself alone, and must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance. That is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road—and who have already stolen so much from Thomas.

In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys—through a boy’s eyes—a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476731643 | 
  • January 2015
List Price $14.99
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Road to Reckoning includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Robert Lautner. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the “Improved Revolving Gun,” takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure and a precious chance for Thomas to spend time alone with his father soon turns into a nightmare. When his father is murdered, Thomas must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance—that is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. “The Lord made men,” the novel begins, “But Sam Colt made them equal.& see more

About the Author

Robert Lautner
Photograph by Mary Keating

Robert Lautner

Robert Lautner was born in Middlesex, England, in 1970. Before becoming a writer he owned his own comic bookstore, and was a wine merchant, photographic consultant, and recruitment consultant. He lives on the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, in a wooden cabin with his wife and children.

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