Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel

Tony Walters

St. Martin's Press




Burden, a twenty-one-year-old grocery store clerk in Walterboro, South Carolina, has two things on his mind: suicide and sex. Suicide because of overwhelming guilt for his role in the death of a beloved cousin. Sex because if you live in a small Southern town stuffed with unfulfilled wives and their vengeful men, it's got to be a great way to go.

Of course with such a plan there are bound to be complications: second thoughts, husbands who won't take the bait, and most surprising of all to Burden himself, the return to town of the one woman it might be worth staying alive for.

Burden's women are unforgettable: Maude, whose kneecaps can make a man fall to the floor in a swoon and married to the town's doctor, a much older man not possibly capable of living up to those kneecaps or the woman who goes with them. Pru, whose passion for afternoon lovemaking is close to insatiable, and whose long-haul truckdriving husband Eugene is rarely on the scene to accommodate. Then there's Jo, a different creature altogether - the woman Burden might truly love but who he seems to have let slip from his grasp.

Readers of Clyde Edgerton and Charles Portis will find themselves happily at home in this lyrical and funny novel with the feckless hero who keeps trying to end it all...but can't.


"Get your pants on, Burden," Eugene Boaz's wife protested. She wanted to sound stern, to sound in command. But her voice faltered and the urgency drained, making her words seem silly. Get your pants on … . As she spoke,...


Praise for Burden

“Burden isn't just a sexy romp about a delivery boy and his sex-starved female customers. Improbably enough, Tony Walters's unusual first novel is also a compelling meditation on grief, memory and loss.” —Tom Perrotta, author of Joe College and Election

“Good, sloppy fun: a well-paced, believable, and genuinely funny story.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An engaging...coming of age story. Walters's talent for storytelling is noteworthy, and he has a knack for writing energetic scenes that capture steamy sex.” —Publishers Weekly

“Walters takes his libidinous antihero on a journey from retribution to redemption with laugh-out-loud scenes.” —Contents

About the author

Tony Walters

Tony Walters lives in central Florida with his wife, Mary. Burden is his first novel.

Tony Walters

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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