Hitting the Road for CHAMPION OF THE WORLD …

ChadDundas_1201615026Now that they are final, I’m excited to share the schedule for my smallish book tour in support of Champion of the World. Starting when the book is released on July 12 I’ll be on the road for a week or so reading from and signing the book. If you happen to live near any of these places, I’d love to see you out at an event.

Particularly exciting to me is the “In Conversation” event I’ll be doing with my brother, Zach, at Powells Books in Portland on Thursday, July 14. Neither of us know exactly what that will entail yet, but it should be a good time all the way around.

Here is the full schedule of where I’ll be, and when …

Tuesday, July 12 at 7:00 PM
Shakespeare & Co.
103 S 3rd Street W
Missoula, MT 59801
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing

Thursday, July 14 at 7:30 PM
Powell’s Books
1005 W Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97209
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing with Zach Dundas

Friday, July 15 at 7:00 PM
Literati Bookstore
124 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing with Chris McCormick

Saturday, July 16 at 1:00 PM
Country Bookshelf
28 West Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing

Tuesday, July 19 at 7:00 PM
Cassiopeia Books
721 Central Avenue
Great Falls, MT 59401
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing

Tuesday, July 26 at 7:00 PM
Fact & Fiction
220 N Higgins
Missoula, MT 59802
*Talk/Read, Q&A, Signing

‘Champion of the World’ Gets the Kirkus Star

51nHfjWdZJLI am thrilled to report here that the first “long-lead” review for Champion of the World came this week in the form of a starred offering from Kirkus Reviews.

As a person who has looked on enviously at more established writers whose books boasted being awarded the Kirkus star, this is something of a smallish dream come true for me. At the very least a meaningful achievement checked off the list.

Kirkus writes of the book:


“Dundas puts together a tightly woven piece of storytelling punctuated by some intriguing close-ups of wrestling when it was taken seriously … the novel has the feel of noir but is rounder and richer than a Jim Thompson outing. Dundas suggests writers known for loosely historical works, such as Doctorow and Chabon, but he features a pared-down, punchy style that goes well with his characters’ basic raw ambitions and emotions.”

Read the entire review here.

Fourth of July Creek’s Smith Henderson on Champion of the World: ‘Masterful’

Here’s one I’m particularly excited about:

Champion of the World got a boost from critically-acclaimed author—and Montana native—Smith Henderson this week. He had the following to say about the novel:Smith-Henderson-8408.sm

“CHAMPION OF THE WORLD is a debut with the masterful breadth and insight of a veteran talent’s work. The confluence of a sport and entertainment, gambling and gangsterism is illuminated on every page, as Chad Dundas burrows into the tangled roots of American wrestling. Tragic and by turns hopeful, CHAMPION OF THE WORLD is a showcase bout full of reversals, grit, and spirit.”

— Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek

You’ve probably already read Henderson’s own debut, Fourth of July Creek, which has been lighting up “best of” lists since its release last year. If you haven’t read it, dude, what are you waiting for?

The book won the 2014 Montana Book Award and is described as a “shattering and iconic American novel” in the first damn line of its Amazon plot summary. It was a 2014 New York Times Notable Book, won the 2015 John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger Award and was named a finalist for scores of others. So, yeah, pretty good.

Henderson is a PEN award winner and was the 2011 Philip Roth Writer in Residency at Bucknell University. He’s won a Pushcart Prize, been a fellow at Michener Center at University of Texas and his short fiction has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction and One Story, among others.

To say I’m stoked that he’s among those offering advance praise for Champion of the World is a massive understatement.

— Chad

Sundance Author David Fuller Says CHAMPION OF THE WORLD is ‘A Terrific Debut’

Historical novelist and screenwriter David Fuller lent some kind words to Champion of the World this week, calling the book “a terrific debut.”

It’s always a thrill to net a bit of applause from a writer the caliber of Fuller. The author of more than 50 screenplays—including Necessary Roughness, The Heist, and Gang in Blue—his first novel Sweetsmoke was nominated for an Edgar Award, and shortlisted for a John Creasy “New Blood” Dagger Award in the UK.

0de66b_940164a6b4d048c4b96720fc0f8e5d6f.jpg_srz_p_185_148_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Fuller’s second novel Sundance came out on June 16, 2015 and tells the story of Harry Longbaugh–aka The Sundance Kid–living in Wyoming five years after he allegedly died in a shootout in Bolivia.

Here’s what Fuller said about Champion of the World:

“Chad Dundas sets us squarely down in 1921 and brings it vividly to life. Moira and Pepper Van Dean feel like a real couple. The tense buildup to the wrestling matches is outstanding, and the pleasure of the matches themselves is that their outcome cannot be predicted. A terrific debut.”

—David Fuller, author of Sundance

Check back for more updates about Champion of the World. We’re getting close to having an official publication date and cover art. You’ll know as soon as I do!

— Chad

Audiobook Rights to Champion of the World Sold to Blackstone Audio

imgresI’m pleased to announce this week that one of the nation’s largest independent audiobook publishers has acquired the audio rights to my forthcoming novel Champion of the World.

Blackstone Audio is based in Ashland, Oregon and offers over 10,000 unabridged audiobook titles, including more than 150 new offerings every month, according to its website. The company has been nominated for a Grammy and in 2014 won two Audie Awards, honors given annually to the country’s top audiobooks.

It’s a thrill to know such respected professionals will handle any audiobook production of Champion of the World.

The rights were purchased at auction. Check back for updates about when and where the audiobook version of Champion of the World will be available.

— Chad

Jeff Guinn Calls Champion of the World ‘One of the Finest First Novels in Years’

Champion of the World continues to creep through the publication process, headed for a 2016 release. We’ve completed what we hope is the final copyedit and bound proofs are now in the hands of a few selected readers. Slowly but surely, it feels as though a bit of momentum is building.


The first piece of advance praise for the book comes by way of New York Times bestselling author Jeff Guinn, and it makes me feel a little misty-eyed every time I read it.

Not that I’ve been reading it again and again or anything.

Here’s what Guinn has to say about Champion of the World:

“Here’s one of the finest first novels in years, a gritty tale involving professional wrestling, bootlegging, and the byzantine strategies of cold-blooded conmen and desperate grifters. If the subject matter strikes you as too quirky, think again. My advice to anyone who loves brilliant storytelling is this: read Chad Dundas’s Champion of the World.”

— Jeff Guinn

Guinn is the author of numerous books, a former Edgar Award nominee, a former books editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and an award-winning investigative journalist. His book The Last Gunfight made the NYT bestseller list in 2012.

To see him say nice things about Champion makes me feel downright giddy.

— Chad



The Rightful King of Wrestling

(Originally published in Thuglit.)

After a week, I went to see a doctor about my finger. I got the name of an MD who would play ball, a guy known to be loose with the Placidyl. The doc was one of those little guys who really looked after his beard. He sat me up on an examination table in my underpants, sanitary paper sticking to my thighs and looked at my finger with magnifiers clipped over his glasses. The ring finger on my left hand was swollen up twice its normal size. It throbbed like a mother and was starting to turn black around the knuckle. The doc made a clicking sound in his throat, pushed away from the table on his little rolling stool and marked something on a metal clipboard. He said: “There’s definitely a tooth in there.”

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Boy Missing Near Judith Gap

(Originally published in Camas.)

The governor had to call off his fishing trip in the middle of the holiday weekend to meet with the parents of the missing boy. It chapped him, but the Party insisted he go out to Wheatland County and settle things down. A five-year-old was missing two days and two nights after wandering off during a family camping trip in the Little Belt Mountains and the media had the whole state caught up in it. People were flooding the local 911 dispatch with crazy tips and false-alarm sightings. Do-gooders and ambulance chasers were coming from all over and getting in the way of things. It was a borderline hysteria situation. The governor had spent the last month tying up stoneflies and dreaming of cold, clear water rushing around his waders, maybe drinking a beer by a campfire. Now this.

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A New Balance

(Originally published in the Missoulian newspaper)

Kalispell, Mont. – Nobody knows for sure how Gary Hanson is still alive.

By all rights, the 60-year-old marathoner from Kalispell should have died during an early spring morning five years ago, on a narrow running path in Washington that slopes down a gentle hill toward the Spokane River.

The accident that should have killed him is old news now to Gary and his wife Gail. They talk about it with the kind of acceptance, wit and dignity reserved for those who have seen the very worst in life and survived it.

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