A moving story about a young man’s search for belonging, Don’t Skip Out On Me (2018) is an understated yet powerful exploration of identity and loneliness. Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, taken in by the aging ranchers, Mr. and Mrs. Reese, after his parents abandoned him. But Horace can’t escape the feeling that he doesn’t belong and embarks on a misguided journey to prove his own worth as a professional boxer.
Don’t Skip Out On Me was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award.
The novel includes a download code for an instrumental soundtrack by Richmond Fontaine, which gorgeously evokes the spirit and setting of this stunning novel. CD and vinyl are available for purchase in the store.
"Don’t Skip Out on Me is magnificent. Willy Vlautin is now one of America’s great writers."
"Willy Vlautin will break your heart with his hardscrabble characters. He’s the champion of the marginalized, the traumatized, the lonely, and the bereft, ennobling and imbuing the most unlikely characters with a pathos and generosity generally reserved for saints. The world needs more Willy Vlautin, and Don’t Skip Out on Me is his best novel yet.”
“Beautifully crushing and complete.”
"I'm smitten in the most remarkable way. I've fallen from the ground up for Willy Vlautin's newest character, the half-Irish half-Paiute ranch hand turned boxer. Don't Skip Out on Me is going to make your heart crumple into a little wad of paper and then open it back up into a perfect paper airplane sailing the skies from the hand of a boy. How does a a bi-cultural man find a self when he's been abandoned by his parents? He invents it, that's how, with his hands, his fists, and that fist-shaped muscle, a heart. No one anywhere writes as beautifully about people whose stories stay close to the dirt. Willy Vlautin is a secular-and thus real and profoundly useful-saint."