Tuesday, February 15, 2011


by Sam Starbuck

Christopher, the only bookseller in the small farm town of Low Ferry, lives an uneventful life -- until one day he encounters a shy newcomer named Lucas, and accidentally sells him the wrong book. What follows is a journey for both men, in vastly different ways, set against the strange, ritualistic, magic backdrop of a midwestern winter. A tale about the masks people wear and a meditation on the power of magic, Nameless revels in the simple pleasure of storytelling.

It seems ridiculous that I waited until now to pick this up. I mean, I’ve been obsessively reading and rereading Sam’s fanfiction for a few years now. Why didn’t I buy this immediately?

I have no idea. But I can tell you this- I remembered last weekend that Sam allows for free digital downloads of his books and that the .pdfs can be read on my Kindle, so I downloaded Nameless.

I could not put it down. In fact, I set aside the last book in The Lost Years of Merlin – the book I reread a whole series for – to finish Nameless. As I finished reading the last sentence, I was getting up to buy physical copies of both this book and Charitable Getting. My order was in before my Kindle even switched itself off.

I don’t know why I went into this with the unreasonable expectation that I wouldn’t enjoy Sam’s original fiction as much as his fanfiction. It was irrational and nonsense and I’m ashamed of that tiny bit of my brain that had reservations about picking this up. And I’m so glad that little part of my brain was wrong.

Nameless is an amazing book. It builds the world in Low Ferry so subtly that by the time you realize that it’s drawing you in, it’s too late. You’re already trapped and so invested in what’s happening that you resent every moment you have to spend away from the story. It becomes a compulsion follow the tale to its end.

It’s been a very long time since I last felt so compelled by a book. I’m in awe at Sam’s talent.

So, yes, I definitely recommend this book. Vehemently. If you’re even the slightest unsure, click the link below for the .pdf version of it, but I urge you to buy the physical copy to support Sam. This will be a book to hold on to and reread repeatedly and Sam deserves whatever profit these book sales can give him.



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