The Book of Maps

A Novel

Ernest Thompson

In Academy and Golden Globe winner Ernest Thompson's debut novel, Brendan Tibbet, a filmmaker whose luck has run low, takes his 10-year old son Brenlyn on a wild road trip across the country. The two-week trek from LA to New Hampshire crosses a dozen states, but it's the interior journey that's enlightening, heartwarming and life changing.
Date Published :
October 2022
Publisher :
Global Collective Publishers
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781954021952
Pages : 480
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In the summer of 2002, Brendan Tibbet, a filmmaker whose luck has run low, takes his ten-year-old son Brenlyn on a raucous road trip across America. Following a 1930s travel guide Brendan purchased at a yard sale, the two-week trek from LA to New Hampshire covers 16 states, hitting the iconic stops along the way, Yosemite, the Great Salt Lake, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, replete with wild exploits both hilarious and perilous, but it’s the interior journey that is enlightening, deeply poignant and life-changing.

Brendan assures the boy that each state will be an adventure, and on the second day proves it, seeing the kid washed away in fast-moving rapids, then foolishly putting them both in danger by refusing to back down to the massive black bear invading their campsite. That’s Brendan, impetuous and foolhardy, inciting trouble wherever he goes, a man with demons and bubbling angst. But neither of those missteps, or the many and scarier ones to follow, can begin to compare to the threatening storm cloud hanging over the expedition: the father’s struggle to find the perfect, worst time to reveal to his son the news that will break his heart and affect everything to follow.

Ernest Thompson’s debut novel is a skillful, magical piece of 20th-century fin de siècle writing depicting a United States that, even in the aftermath of 9-11, seems almost innocent contrasted to the horrors and divisions, racism and rage challenging us now. The Book of Maps, with its powerful father-son relationship and one man’s relentless albeit unintentional quest to evolve into the better angel we all aspire to be, will capture the imagination of readers and leave them wanting to relive this mad, irresistibly moving, ridiculously funny, reflective and inspiring cross-country odyssey again and again.

About The Author

Ernest Thompson has written numerous films, plays and songs, and has worked extensively as an actor and director. In addition to his Oscar for On Golden Pond, Ernest’s work has won two Golden Globes, a Writers Guild Award, a Broadway Drama Guild Award and been nominated for a Tony, an Emmy and a British Academy Award. His plays have been seen in theaters around the world, his most enduring, On Golden Pond, translated into 30 languages and presented in more than 40 countries. He currently is developing Cries of Valor in Defiance, depicting life in the pandemic and, with his writer wife Kerrin Thompson, has established Rescind Recidivism, a prison writing program designed to give inmates a chance to feel creative as well as human, capable and worthy.


“Ernest Thompson’s novel depicts the ultimate road trip in a rapturous torrent of language that captures the torrent of thoughts we carry with us as we plunge forward through life. All those suspect attributes emblazoned on so many book jackets are actually deserved here: The Book of Maps is authentically 'fearlessly original', 'laugh-out-loud funny', and 'profound.'”

- Caroline Alexander, Author of New York Times bestsellers "The Endurance" and "The Bounty"

The Book of Maps does take us across country, but our real travelling is through the dissolution of family and the invincibility of parental bonds. Guided by a hapless writer and a precocious child, fueled by Ernest Thompson’s artful prose, our journey is filled with imagination and hilarity, recklessness and courage, inspiration and love. And it’s a hell of a ride.”

- Jessica Hoffmann Davis, EdD, ret. Senior Lecturer and Arts in Education Chair, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of "Ordinary Gifted Children: The Power and Promise of Individual Attention."

“A good father despite himself; a forgiving child despite it all. Their adventures will make you worry, weep, and laugh out loud.”

- Carly Simon, Singer

“Ernest Thompson has put his cinematic viewfinder to potent use and written a very funny and deeply moving novel. Take a trip across the country without leaving your home, meet a glorious group of wondrous characters filled with hopes and dreams, and dig deep into the pains and understandings of family dynamics.”

- Robert Greenwald, Filmmaker

“A remarkable compilation of parenting, humor, entertainment and deep emotion.”

- Shirley MacLaine

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