Meet Burt Hecker: a mead-drinking, tunic-wearing medieval re-enactor from upstate New York. He prefers oat gruel to French fries because potatoes were unavailable in Europe before 1200 AD; and, at war with the modern world, he enjoys hosting large-scale re-enactments at the Victorian bed and breakfast he calls home.

But Burt has some serious problems. After an incident involving the New York State police and an illegally borrowed car, Burt is forced to join a local music therapy workshop to manage his anger. He gallantly accompanies the group to Germany for a festival celebrating the music of the visionary saint Hildegard von Bingen--but he has no plan to return home. His real destination is Prague: he must find his estranged son Tristan, who, he believes, has lost his way in the Bohemian city.

As we move between past and present, the tragic details of Burt's life are gradually revealed: the recent death of his beloved wife; the circumstances that separate him from his children; his complicated relationship with his mother-in-law. And we begin to understand, with heart-wrenching clarity, Burt's eccentric and poignant devotion to a time other than one's own.

Wildly inventive and mesmerizing, Tod Wodicka's debut is a modern-day Arthurian quest that introduces one of the most winning oddball characters to come along in years.


From the Hardcover edition.
"Boy is it fun to read All Shall Be Well. Traveling through Eastern Europe with Burt Hecker is a little like heading south with Charles Portis's Ray Midge of being holed up in the campgrounds with Nabokov's Charles Kinbote--uproarious, wholly odd, wonderfully rendered."
--Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End

"A rare comic novel, beautifully styled and often very moving, which seems funny almost by accident, as if it just happened to discover notes of comedy while it went about sounding the depths of its characters. Wodicka is a superb writer."
--Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead

"An astonishing, beautiful book. It's comic and compassionate, assured in tone and richly poetic . . . unfolding in brilliantly unexpected and entertaining ways."
--Peter Hobbs, author of The Short Day Dying

"Outstanding . . . A vibrant, original, at times hilarious novel . . . A worthy addition to the school of studies in American dysfunction--in heritage, rebellion, the bonds and resentments of family love--reminiscent of Roth or Franzen."
--New Statesman

"Wodicka's wry and subtle prose is a pleasure throughout."
--The Observer

"An assured novel bursting with humor and weighted with sadness."
--Financial Times

"Wonderfully imagined . . . Wodicka has crafted an eccentric tale full of humor and compassion."
--The Guardian


From the Hardcover edition.

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