Last Bus to Coffeeville
A funny story about sad things

A brilliant, funny and heartbreaking novel about immortal love, a malignant illness and true friendship.

Nancy Skidmore has Alzheimer’s and her oldest friend Eugene Chaney III once more a purpose in life – to end hers.
Many years ago, when still a student of medicine, Gene had promised his first love Nancy to bring her back to Coffeeville, Mississippi and make an end to her life in case she turns out to have inherited her family’s illness of forgetting. When the moment of making good on his unusual promise arrives, Nancy is unexpectedly admitted to the secure unit of a nursing home and Gene has to call upon his two remaining friends to help break her out: one his godson, a disgraced weatherman in the throes of a midlife crisis, and the other an ex-army marksman officially dead for forty years.

On a tour bus once stolen from Paul McCartney, and joined by a young orphan boy searching for lost family, the band of misfits embark on their ‚Magical Mistery Tour’ towards Mississippi through a landscape of war, euthanasia, communism, religion and racism, and along the way discover the true meaning of love, family and –most important of all – friendship.

Charming, uplifting and profoundly moving, Last Bus to Coffeeville is a chronicle of lives that have jumped the tracks; a tale of endings and new beginnings; a funny story about sad things.

Reviews

»A brilliant, uplifting and humorous novel which is sure to strike a chord with fans of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' and 'The 100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out of a Window and Disappeared'.«
Huffington Post

»One of the best feel-good books I have ever read!«
CultureFly

»There is heartbreak...black humour... and some of the charm of 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry'.«
Daily Mail

»J Paul Henderson is someone to watch out for.«
The Bookbag

»A wonderful cast of eccentric people in the best tradition of old-time American writers like Capote and Keillor. I was enthralled throughout and recommend it to anyone who wants a feel-good read.«
New Books Magazine

»Deftly handled with an offbeat humour and a deal of worldly compassion.«
Sunday Sport

»A funny road trip story...but this brave debut novel also tackles sensitive issues and does so in a confident manner.«
We Love This Book

»The shimmering humour and life values Henderson explores are certainly something you wouldn’t want to miss.«
The Star Online

»An interesting delight... a brilliant debut.«
Our Book Reviews Online

»Exceptionally good...The characters and plot are fantastic and I really couldn't praise it enough.«
Bookseller


Original Language

English, No Exit Press

Further Editions

audiobook (UK) - audible

Available Material

English pdf

Rights Sold

  • German Diogenes Verlag AG
  • Polish Dom Wydawnickzy PWN
  • Polish Storytel audiobook

Awards

  • MDR Literature Prize Audience Award
  • COFFEEVILLE Starbucks Pick of the Week 2014 with over 10,000 downloads
  • COFFEEVILLE Longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award 2016

J. Paul Henderson

J Paul Henderson was born and grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, gained a Master’s degree in American Studies and travelled to Afghanistan. He worked in a foundry, as a bus conductor, trained as an accountant and then, when the opportunity to return to academia arose, he left for Mississippi, returning four years later with a doctorate in 20th Century US History. With American History university departments either closing or contracting, he opted for a career in academic publishing. He now lives in the North of England, drives a car and owns a television set. And that, in his own words, is 'about it'.