Since 1992
Uncle Ham's publishes art, humor, fiction and non-fiction.

In a Place Like No Other
a novel by
Ed Touchette
ISBN 0-9741220-0-9
pp.296, Uncle Ham's

Amidst the social and political turmoil of 1970s America, in a popular subterranean haunt in the bowels of the North Shore's last grand hotel, Rocky Neck's venerable Rackliffe House, bartender Frank Noal listens attentively to the harangues of madcap expressionist painter and Gloucester native, Donna Pearce. Seduced by the entertaining storyteller and the narcotic beauty of the harbor, Frank, who had originally planned to leave after the summer, reconsiders and engages the sexy artist in a volatile and voluble affair that transcends smuggling and the murderous treachery of Jack Carson, the hotel's mismanager. Hot and saucy, placed against a colorful backdrop - an eclectic mix of fishermen, tourists, painters and poets - and woven into the patchwork of natural and built beauty that is Gloucester, this bittersweet tale renders an indelible likeness of that period when so many refugees from the sixties, searching for a sense of self and place, stumbled unwittingly into lives which they'd never imagined. Subtly layered with literary and historical references to Gloucester's solemn connection to the Great War, the story presents intriguing parallels between baby boomers and the Lost Generation. As well, the spicy allegories of Frank's boyhood friend, an Abenaki storyteller, expand the scope of this explosive, utterly wild, rich- with-humor story and drive it into the 21st Century where it concludes with the kind of laughter that hasn't graced the city since . . . well, since Ducky Ryan tried to peddle hashish coated fish sticks.

Some comments about

In a Place Like No Other

Witty, nostalgic, and one of a special kind, Gloucester in its swinging dreamtime has found its storyteller. Ed Touchette does it proud.

Mitzi Brunsdale
author of
James Joyce Short Fiction
A Student Companion to George Orwell

Well crafted, with more ups, downs, twists and turns than Gloucester's hills, this story winds its way to a conclusion that you never could have guessed.

Dave Mc Aveeney
author of
Kipling in Gloucester

keeps you turning the pages--never at all sure where this thing is going and what shape you or the characters will be in when you get there.. . a colorful yarn told in an exagerated style--definitely worth a weekend to unravel.

reader reviews

Excerpts from the book.
The hotel The bar The place The artist More characters

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As Gloucester's incredible beauty and renowned architecture play a vital role in the development of this tale, it's only fitting that the artistic talents of the author enhance the book. Ten original linoblock simulations are included. The full color cover is a reproduction of a new painting by Ed Touchette titled A Gloucester Summer.

Gloucester City Hall

One of ten block print simulations included in the text of this book.
Soft cover. The retail price of the book is $16.95 U.S.

Ed Touchette has been publishing stories and humor through Uncle Ham's since 1992. The newsletter and cartoon series for dog lovers enjoys an international audience. He is nationally recognized for his dynamic, vibrant paintings and sporting art and is a graduate of the School of Architecture at R.P.I. He's lived and worked in Gloucester since 1973. In a Place Like No Other is his first novel.
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