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John Nichols Books In Order

Publication Order of New Mexico Trilogy Books

The Milagro Beanfield War (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Magic Journey (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nirvana Blues (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Sterile Cuckoo (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wizard of Loneliness (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghost in the Music (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
American Blood (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Elegy for September (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Conjugal Bliss (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On Top of Spoon Mountain (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author John Treadwell Nichols was born in Berkeley, California on July 23, 1940 and graduated from Hamilton College in the year 1962. For many years, he has lived in Taos, New Mexico. He had an uncredited role in an Oscar winner (which won best adapted screenplay) for a movie called “Missing” that was released in the year 1982. The ichthyologist named John Treadwell Nichols is this John Nichols’ grandfather. He is also first cousins with a politician from Massachusetts.

“The Milagro Beanfield War” was adapted by Robert Redford into a movie that had the same title. Two other films were made of his books, which are called “The Wizard of Loneliness” and “The Sterile Cuckoo”.

“The Milagro Beanfield War” is the first novel in the “New Mexico” series and was released in the year 1974. Joe Mondragon, who is a hustler that is great at having trouble come find him, stopped his truck, put his gumboots on, and walked right into the dry piece of ground. He illegally and with care tapped into the main irrigation line. This is the act that started the Milagro Beanfield War, although not many knew about it when he first did it.

Like everything in the town, it would be a patchwork effort, fought more by tactical retreats than any victories on the field of battle. Small farmers and shepherds start to rally behind Joe and his bean field as a symbol of the lands and rights they lost.

In the capital, the power brokers and barons of the water get together urgently. They plan to destroy the symbol before it is able to wreck their schemes of developing the land and making millions on the whole thing.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the read, finding it comical, entertaining, and they were connected with each of the characters in the book. There are some mini stories for the characters that did not distract from the main story being told in the novel, but was an equally entertaining aspect to the book. Some find that this is up there with some of their favorite books that they have ever read. Some readers even laughed out loud shortly after picking the book up to start reading it.

“The Magic Journey” is the second novel in the “New Mexico” series and was released in the year 1978. While the rest of America was feeling the Great Depression, the small forgotten town in the southwest called Chamisaville was feeling boom time. It happened when a crappy bus, filled with dynamite exploded and exposed a huge hot spring that was gushing. Just a few minutes later, the wheeler dealers in town got together. Just a year later, and Chamisaville got flooded with all kinds both pilgrims and tourists. Needless to say, those same wheeler dealers made a lot of money out of it.

This story spans forty years and tells the story how some progress transformed a backwater rural town into one that was booming. At the start, it was magical times for Chamisaville, just like each day was actually a holiday. That initial euphoria disappeared slowly, while the land thirsty developers, interlopers, and speculators came in.

The day came finally when the people of Chamisaville found that they were pretty much displaced from their town. Their kids were no longer going to inherit the land or the tradition of the town.

Fans of the novel like the way the novel documents what man has turned into to gain some progress. There is an intensity to the book that mounts before reaching a climax that was tragically foresaw. Once again, Nichols is able to tell a story with some deep characters that well realized. Both main characters, Virgil and April, are incredible and feel quite human. Some cannot wait to read the books from this series multiple times.

“The Nirvana Blues” is the third novel in the “New Mexico” series and was released in the year 1981. The seventies have ended. All over America, overgrown kids from the middle class are aging while getting their collective acts together. That old tight Chicano community from Chamisaville has been gone for quite some time, while the Anglo brokers of power have just about everything in hand.

A faithful husband, a man who is simply good all around, and loving father named Joe Miniver is just about to settle down. In order to buy the land, he is going to put together a coke scam that will earn him the necessary amount of money. He is about to go on some erotic adventures with a trio of women that are all headstrong. It makes him confront the absurdity as well as the terrors that come with the man and woman scene of today.

Fans of the novel found this to have some delirious and delicious writing in it. It is a story that is worth reading and appreciating, and it will make you really think. Some feel this did a great job of keeping the attention of the reader, and made them want to find out how things ended for each of the characters.

“The Sterile Cuckoo” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 1965. Jerry Payne (age eighteen) meets Pookie Adams at the bus depot in Friarsburg, Oklahoma, not yet knowing that this is going to kick off the most important love affair of his entire life. His secretly enchanted, while also overwhelmed by the rambling yet zany monologue she gives him, and he is relieved that she stays in St. Louis while he goes off to New York.

He believes that he has seen the last of her for good, and goes off to college. He ends up pursued by seventeen long letters she sends him, and before he knows what is happening, he is involved with a girl who seems crazy and so honest. Honest in a startling way. And she adores him, too.

Over the course of the next two years, she assists Jerry leave the frat bro he has become. The beer blasting, fun seeking frat guy he has started to be. She shows him how to open up his own heart to Pookie. Then, just as soon as she showed up, she vanishes. It leaves behind a pile of love and wonder.

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