Naked Into the Night
In the first novel in the Booker Series, published in 1997, a successful Anglo businessman with grown children walks out of his affluent lifestyle late one night totally naked in a desperate attempt to remake himself as a human being. His adventure takes him cross-country from truck stop to truck stop as a moving van helper to Santa Fe, where he finds shelter and peace among a small tribe of Pueblo Indians. Adopted into the tribe as “Anglo Who Became Chief Old Woman’s Son,” he must then return to the family chaos he left behind in Norfolk to free himself of his past.
This novel helped to create a new literary genre, visionary fiction, and it is considered a classic with appeal to everyone on the journey of self-discovery. The odyssey of the story engages all family members, male and female, across three generations, and is both poignant and humorous.
“Monty Joynes is a genuine find by Hampton Roads. His novel portrays not only a culture, an environment, a political reality, but also a psychological drama that includes gripping scenes like one in which the protagonist makes peace in a bar fight, and another where he becomes a spiritual guide to a friend dying of cancer. Joynes has written the tale of a man who undergoes a radical inner transformation, walks away from his life as a successful real estate broker, husband, and father, and manifests in his new life as a homeless drifter, the outer life that reflects his inner transformation. In lucid prose, Joynes narrates as compelling an example of a person choosing essence life and accepting the consequences as you are likely to find in modern fiction.”
The Independent Press Book Review
“With a clarity of vision wielded by few writers, Monty Joynes exposes the corruption and decay of man’s soul in the urban dying world. Language as it is really used and spoken, blended into an engaging portrait of postmodern man, his environments, his system of beliefs, thoughts, modes, and potentiality. Building on the tradition of Kerouac, Pynchon, and Henry Miller, Joynes’s lyrical and textured map of the human psyche will become a permanent fixture in American literary culture. The decay and decline of the spirit, for Joynes, can only be halted and reversed through an absolute transformation of self. By peacefully releasing the old into the void and recreating oneself as another, the individual may find previously undiscovered meaning and renewal. One man’s downward spiral of spiritual erosion and transformation in a cycle of self-renewing energy has been reconstructed by Joynes into a complex and multifaceted narrative that exposes new truths on every level that the reader will inevitably peel away for her or himself. There is hope for our emptiness; we must brave the night to find it.”
Quintin Parrish, Publisher’s Review
Customer Reviews from Amazon
Wonderful starting over. Ran across this book several years ago at a local bookstore, lost track of it, found it again looking for something else. It’s a wonderful novel about how one can begin a new life that is deeper and more connected than one’s old one.
A spiritual contemplative experience. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction novels, but I was intrigued by Winn’s endurance to throw away his identity, his family, his prominent position in the community, and, most of all, his comfortable life. It’s not every day that a very wealthy and educated middle aged man, sound of mind, decides to do something totally irrational, by leaving his loved ones, his bank accounts, his assets, and his successful business, and goes naked into the night, wandering around the country with the true hope to find a new identity and the true meaning of his existence. It takes a lot of guts and a ‘desperate’ drive. This is what kept me devouring the book page after page, depicting myself in the same situation, and living his experience as he is about to start a precarious new life, just about when he had practically achieved everything and had accumulated wealth and power. Each chapter kept me nailed to its story with trepidation and suspense. I had a spiritual contemplative experience, and I cried with Booker when Nita died. Now I can hardly wait to buy the sequel LOST IN LAS VEGAS and to read more about Booker’s new life with the Pueblo Indians.
THE RIGHT BOOK AT THE RIGHT TIME IN MY LIFE: NAKED INTO THE NIGHT answers the questions posed by the inevitable mid-life experience of so many of we “boomers” are asking. Leaving self-sufficiency and moving toward faith and focus on others is the path to inner peace. In this paradigm, it matters less what you do, what you have, etc. The focus in this book is on how we do what we do. If you search for freedom and inner peace, this book has some of the answers.
An amazing journey. A spiritually renewing read from beginning to end. I became a willing participant in Booker’s emotional quest and will not soon forget NAKED’s powerful message. Monty Joynes is a truly gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more from him!
AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXAMINE YOUR PRIORITIES AND LIFE’S MISSION. From the very start of the book I was drawn to the main character, Booker. His growth and understanding of life unfolded an opportunity for me to examine my own life and priorities. I found it to be an easy read and can hardly wait for a sequel.
Warm, compassionate, an eye opener. Terrific book!!! Very spiritual and in-depth. As I read on, I felt I was a participant throughout the journey, feeling every emotion. A truly excellent read.
I didn’t want it to end. NAKED INTO THE NIGHT captured me from the beginning. I cared about Winn/Booker, the main character, and I understood his longing for something more. Monty Joynes has written a book that touches the soul and makes us realize that we can find peace and love in the most real sense. I was fascinated with the Indian scenes — it made me want to learn more. And, in the end, I didn’t want the book to end. I wanted to know more about what Booker did with the rest of his life. I hope there will be a sequel. Definitely a worthwhile read and a wonderful gift of love to someone else.