[Audiobook CASSETTE Library Edition in vinyl case.]
[Read by Paul Michael Garcia]
*Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
One of Oprah's ''Irresistible'' Reads
An Amazon.com Top 100 Editors' Pick
Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boy's haunting and extraordinary vision.
Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, gets on a New York City uptown B train on a fantastic and terrifying quest to save the world. Violet Heller, his frantic mother, is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing persons specialist, in a desperate attempt to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. As the stakes grow higher, Lateef gradually comes to realize that this is more than a case of a runaway teen: Will Heller has a chilling case history, and Violet, beautiful and enigmatic, harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.
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Amazon Best of the Month, March 2009: I'm not the first and certainly won't be the last reader to herald Lowboy for the subtle homage it pays to one of the best-known heroes in 20th century fiction, or to envy and delight in its masterful vision of New York City as seen from its darkest, most primal places. What's most seductive for me about John Wray's third novel--and arguably the one that puts him squarely on the map alongside contemporary luminaries like Joseph O'Neill, Jonathan Lethem, and Junot Diaz--is how skillfully it explores the mind's mysterious terrain. This isn't exactly uncharted land: John Wray's Will Heller--a.k.a. Lowboy--is a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds and on the lam, certain of both his own dysfunction and of the world's imminent collapse by way of global warming, but Wray handles that subtext delicately and is careful to make Will's mission to "cool down" and save the world feel single-minded without being moralistic. Wray invokes all the classic elements of a mystery in the telling, and that's what makes this novel such a searing read. As Will rides the subway in pursuit of a final solution to the crisis at hand, we meet (among others) Will's mother Violet, an Austrian by birth with an inscrutable intensity that gives the story a decidedly noir feel; Ali Lateef, the unflappable detective investigating Will's disappearance whose touch of brilliance always seems in danger of being snuffed out; and Emily Wallace, the young woman at the heart of Will's tragic odyssey. The novel moves seamlessly between Will's fits and starts below ground and Violet and Ali's equally staccato investigation of each other above. This kind of pacing is the stuff we crave (and we think you will, too)--the kind that draws you in so unawares that before you know it, it's past midnight and you're down to the last page. –- Anne Bartholomew
John Wray on Lowboy
JOHN WRAY is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan's Tongue. He was named one of Granta magazine's Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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