Pauls Toutonghi – Evel Knievel Days

Butte, Montana to Cairo, Egypt — in one great leap.

Evel Knievel Days: The Novel

“A funny, heart-warming, compulsively readable novel about the unbreakable bonds of family — and baklava.”

Garth SteinNew York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

From the critically-acclaimed author of Red Weather, comes a heartwarming, witty story of immigration and belonging, false starts and new beginnings, and finding out what home truly means.

Khosi Saqr has always felt a bit out of place in Butte, Montana — hometown of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.  Half-Egyptian, full of nervous habits, raised by a single mother, owner of a name that no one can pronounce — Khosi has never quite managed to fit in. But when a mysterious stranger arrives in town (and Khosi’s longtime love uses Butte’s annual festival, Evel Knievel Days, as a time to announce her impending marriage to someone else), Khosi takes his first daredevil like risk, and travels to Egypt to find his father — and a connection to his heritage.

What he discovers, in Cairo, is much more startling than he’d imagined it could be. The city is a thrilling mix of contradictions — and locating his father turns out to be the easy part. Through mistaken identity, delicious food, and near tragedy, Khosi and his parents rediscover what it means to be connected to each other, to a family, and to a culture.

The timely story of a young man searching for his roots, and along the way finding his identity, Evel Knievel Days is Khosi’s charming and funny journey to learn where he came from, and who he is.

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10 comments on “Evel Knievel Days: The Novel

  1. Pingback: Pauls Toutonghi on Being Married to Another Novelist

  2. Bellezza
    July 2, 2012

    I’ve just been offered a review copy of your book, Evel Knievel Days, and I’m looking forward to reading it. How well I remember that dare devil from my youth; more importantly, the idea of finding one’s home (not the physical dwelling) has always appealed to me.

    • paulstoutonghi
      July 2, 2012

      Hi, Bellezza:

      That’s great! Well, I hope you enjoy it!

      All the best,

      Pauls

  3. Bellezza
    July 9, 2012

    Pauls, I finished Evel Knievel Days and published my thoughts here. I don’t even think I can come close to describing how powerful your novel is, how very much I love it. I feel like I know Khosi. You have painted him so perfectly, and he is so winsome, that I’m glad I was able to spend a few days with him in my living room. Your dialogue is fresh, and witty, yet at the same time you touch the reader’s soul. Because ultimately? I think we all search for understanding of our past. I think we all love our parents No Matter What. Thank you for this very special novel.

    • paulstoutonghi
      July 10, 2012

      Thank you so much, Bellezza. That’s so touching — so kind of you. And — really and truly — that was exactly what the novel boiled down too, for me. We make sacrifices because of that simple fact: They are our parents.

      And, well, hey — if you wanted to put that paragraph on GoodReads or Amazon, I have to say: I wouldn’t object! :-)

      All the best,

      Pauls

  4. needmybooks
    August 14, 2012

    Pauls, very curious about where you got the Wall of Death Motor Cycle Drome concept from…………as my Great Aunt and Uncle were Carnival People who ran the Wall of Death (all their working days) in WIldwood New Jersey. The photos I have show the drome with big signs above advertising Dare Devil RIders, Lady Rider! I wonder if it was their Drome that you came across somewhere? Let me know. I met you at the reading in Seattle, I attended with your cousin Mary. You signed my book to “An old friend of the Toutonghi Clan. Thanks, Nancy

    • paulstoutonghi
      August 15, 2012

      Hi, Nancy!
      Yes — I don’t know the exact history, but that makes great sense! It’s an interesting act, that’s for sure.
      Pauls

      • needmybooks
        August 16, 2012

        I figured this might be the case. I have only come across one other reference to this act ever………..in a Brit film. Small World Indeed!
        Hoping all is spectacularly well with you and that your book continues to be read and discovered by many.

        Nancy

  5. Evel Kneivel Days is one of those rare novels that made me slow down, savor each and every word.
    Thank you, Paul Toutonghi.

  6. Pingback: Episode 98 — Pauls Toutonghi | Other People with Brad Listi

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