James J. Patterson reads "Jesse's Wife"
Roughnecks maps a rugged geography of the human condition, as seen through the eyes of the hard-bitten Zachary Harper. With both wit and style, Patterson paints an unforgettable picture of characters wrestling with their own gruff but complicated souls. James Mathews
Of course James J. Patterson would be the first ASP author to require a content warning beside their featured audio. We thought for a long while about whether or not this scene would be appropriate to publish to the site; Roughnecks, after all, is a massive book of incredible scope--there were many worthy recordings to choose from. But, in the end, we decided, that if any one scene were necessary for a prospective reader to hear, it would be the scene which was most necessary for the main character to endure. For context: up until now, no one has ever given Zachary Harper an outsider's account of what it meant to be a Roughneck. His mentor, Jesse Lancaster, among others, sure opined, and often with great wisdom, on the importance, on the danger, on the meaning of their lives, but not many outsiders made it to the oil fields who weren't worms (rookies) looking for work just like Zach. A couple of weeks ago we featured a recording called "Jesse Lancaster Remembers," a poetic, violent rendering of Jesse's memories drilling the basin and his dreams of riding the open seas. If that was brutal sentiment, then this is the sober truth wriggling behind his words like the worms which make a body into a corpse.
Hear James read "Jesse's Wife"
*content warning* contains some very sobering language