“Anyone who is fond of steamboats, Mark Twain, and comedy is going to love “Chasing Steam”. It is funny, bawdy, and cleverly witty. Its hero, Timothy Chase, is a young man obsessed by steam in all of its manifestations. It seems inevitable that he gets involved with the development of the steam engine and ends up on the Mississippi River allied with one of the American inventors of the steamboat, John Fitch.”

"What a tremendously enjoyable reading experience!  McLaughlin has written a bodaciously bawdy, hysterically funny , historically and geographically accurate book that would make even Mr. Clemons fall on the floor laughing till he cried.  The many characters and their dialogue are priceless;  you feel as if you are there among them.  This is truly one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.  I recommend it to any adult (probably not for teenagers) without reservation."

"Jack McLaughlin says that this novel is a wedding of fact and fiction, of true history and fabulous imagination,  He is right.  Set in the early nineteenth cenury, it realates the pursuit of a dream by a young man literally chasing steam--steam to propel boats on the Mississippi.  On a flatboat to Natchez he meets Mike Fink, is captured by Indians who torture him, and is befriended by a runaway slave who helps him escape.  On the way there is a fair amount of joyfully rambunctious sex.  The writing itself is excellent and the  style has the sound of the early 18th century, but without clotting up the reading.  It is a splendid tale, which I believe even Mark Twain would have enjoyed."

"Tom Jones, meet Huck Finn.  Take Henry Fielding's amourous and adventurous young hero and drop him down into America around the time of Robert Fulton's steamboat and you have a rollicking read.  Jack McLaughlin has a flair for blending history, myth, and fictation into a tale tat is leavened with sly wit and an authentic sense of time and place."

See "Chasing Steam" on amazon.com for more reviews.

Contact Jack McLaughlin at: laugh@clemson.edu