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Welcome To Happy-Land

Author: Tom Kiske

ISBN 978-1-62137-760-3 (softcover)

Pages 254



Tom Bonner is a smart kid growing up in inner city St. Louis during turbulent times. Whole neighborhoods are being demolished in the name of urban renewal and as middle class families flee to the suburbs, gangs, crime and decay move in as occupying forces. Tom tries to live in two worlds, competing for a college scholarship during the day while running with a gang at night. When he's accused of arson and murder Bonner has to choose one path or the other. But has the choice already been made for him? Pursued by both police and rival gangs, Bonner stumbles into a network of caves under the city. Betrayed by friends, he's accepted by the enigmatic Tugboat and other down-on-their-luck strangers in a shabby shanty town on the banks of the Mississippi where he learns that school isn't the only place important lessons are taught. Will a terrible storm, a threatening flood and a tent revival provide the formula for Bonner's redemption or his damnation? If you enjoyed Tom Sawyer, The Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird, you're sure to like Welcome to Happy-Land.



Tom Kiske grew up in the old Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. He is a graduate of Humboldt School (where he was not only a "monitor" but also a Patrol Boy at 9th & Victor), McKinley High School and the University of Missouri. He also attended Washington University, The University of Houston and the St. Louis University School of Law. Mr. Kiske’s checkered careers include beaver pelt buyer’s assistant, laundry worker, library employee, Fuller Brush salesman, warehouseman, guy who empties damaged bottles of bleach into 60 gallon drums, draftsman, electric motor winder, insurance claims examiner, systems manager for a shoe company and a sporting goods manufacturer, retail department manager, consulting manager for a Big Eight accounting firm, restaurant critic, instructor at a real estate school, appraiser, senior VP of a national appraisal firm, and president of ValueBase, a property tax consulting firm, as well as serving on several boards of directors. In addition to two previous books, articles by Mr. Kiske have appeared in Texas magazine, the Houston Post, the Soulard Renaissance, InforMensa, the Baywatcher,, the Wancho Review and numerous business publications. Mr. Kiske currently resides in College Station, Texas.



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