Where were you in '78? Edgewater County favorite son Ray DeKalb, a nineteen-year old child of Southern privilege and enrolled at Southeastern University, thinks he's nowhere. Ray chafes at his family's expectations, and the life they've prepackaged for him like a supermarket TV dinner: college, law school, a career in politics or jurisprudence. He's willing to follow either his heart or his head, but neither has any idea what it wants.
What's a randy, stoned and rebellious romantic to do? In the spring of 1978, Ray's answer is to escape from encroaching adult reality by twisting up a joint, dropping out of college and pointing those headlights toward the nearest beach town.
Besides nabbing a gig in "show business" at the venerable Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Ray becomes entangled in relationships with an attractive, willing hotelier and a wild child closer to his own age. When he discovers that his new girl Jamie comes accompanied by a pair of gangster boyfriends, however, Ray finds his journey of discovery transformed into a frightening brush with criminality, danger, and death.
With chapters named for the tracks on Warren Zevon's seminal 1978 album Excitable Boy, King's Highway comes complete with its own nostalgic soundtrack, if only in the ears of its protagonist "Ray-Ray" and the lovers, friends, and dangerous enemies he makes during this nostalgic coming-of-age adventure on the "redneck riviera" by the South Carolina seashore. Originally published in 2007 by Red Letter Press, this updated edition features a new afterword.
James D. McCallister is the author of four novels and a short story collection, as well as numerous pieces of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and academic writing. A lifelong South Carolinian, he resides in West Columbia with his wife and beloved brood of cats, muses all.¿