The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King

A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times
by Jerome Charyn
January 2019 – Liveright / Norton (US)

Raising the literary bar to a new level, Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon- to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination, the novel positions Roosevelt as a “perfect bull in a china shop,” a fearless crime fighter and pioneering environmentalist who would grow up to be our greatest peacetime president.

With an operatic cast, including “Bamie,” his handicapped older sister; Eleanor, his gawky little niece; as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his “crowded hour,” the charge up San Juan Hill. Lauded by Jonathan Lethem for his “polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing,” Charyn has created a classic of historical fiction, confirming his place as “one of the most important writers in American literature” (Michael Chabon).

Jerome Charyn published his first novel in 1964. He’s the author of JOHNNY ONE-EYE, THE SECRET LIFE OF EMILY DICKINSON, I AM ABRAHAM, and dozens of other acclaimed novels as well as nonfiction works. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, American Scholar, Epoch, and Ellery Queen. Charyn’s popular crime novels featuring homicide detective Isaac Sidel inspired a new animated drama series, Hard Apple, helmed by Hollywood insider James Gray (The Immigrants) and illustrated by famed artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka. Charyn lives in Greenwich Village, New York.


US press

TV interview
Publishers Weekly interview
Stay Thirsty interview
Comics Grinder interview

Washington Post review

“Manically inventive, proudly undisciplined, and peopled with dark lords and ladies best characterized by wildly inflated epithets―in other words, nothing at all like any presidencies since 1988.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Considered by many the most innovative crime writer of his generation, Charyn brings a rip-roaring conclusion to one astounding and outstanding series.”—Booklist

German press

« Winter Warnung » debuted as #2 of the best crime novels in Germany

Spiegel online review
Das Kulturmagazin review
crimenoir review

Bayern 2
Deutschlandradio Kultur
ARD Mediathek


“Warning: don’t turn to the first page of Jerome Charyn’s remarkable new work of fiction THE PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THE COWBOY KING unless you have time to be utterly swept away for the next hours.”—Joyce Carol Oates

“Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer―so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible.”—Tom Bissell