top of page
paperback[2729] no background.png


An Epic of the Road
Inspired by the music of
the Grateful Dea

Available on 

Wherever Books Are Sold


Born in turn-of-the-century Denver, Colorado, Jack Jones is a hard-traveling, heavy-drinking, crooked-gambling womanizer with an affinity for Rocky Mountain gin and the path of least resistance.

In 1925, at the height of prohibition, Jack hops off a boxcar in the bustling Oklahoma oil boomtown of Tulsa after five years out wandering along the road less traveled. In search of the nearest speakeasy and some low-stakes poker, Jack stumbles across a far more lucrative opportunity when he meets bootlegging soda-jerk Joe McDunlop and his amiable Irish sidekick Shannon Todd. However, when Jack falls for the young and pretty Bertha Steele, the county sheriff's daughter, and comes face-to-face with treachery, his life of quick gains and repose quickly becomes upended, sending him upon a long, strange trip full of fifty years worth of fated misadventures in early 20th-century America.

Set in Hobohemia during the same era when Jack London, Woody Guthrie, and Jack Kerouac took to the road, this classic retelling of a rake's progress provides a captivating window into a lost and forgotten time and the culture of those uncompromising devotees of freedom and wanderlust. Riddled with harrowing tales of swindles and jailbreaks, windfalls and pitfalls, Skulls & Roses examines the soul of a charismatic anti-hero while bringing to life the most-loved characters of the Grateful Dead's repertoire.

Praise for Skulls & Roses

"A vivid, stream-of-consciousness mash-up of American memory, and an inspired literary distillation of a legendary band.” – Self-Publishing Review

"An emotional, gut-wrenching, and relatable story that will make you question the quality of every move you make." – Quill Literary Reviews

In unfolding the life of a wanderer who continually fields schemes and trouble in pursuit of something greater, Gudinski crafts a thought-provoking story that winds through decades of evolution, social change, and personal ambition." – Diane  Donovan, Midwest Book Review

bottom of page