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Lowboy

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Lowboy Cover

ISBN13: 9780374194161
ISBN10: 0374194165
Condition: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Review-A-Day

"Derrida once described God as 'the being that can never be misheard or misunderstood: a measure of the gulf between the human and the divine, and a sacralization of the ever-present fear that one's words might not be able to travel across without perversion.' But in Lowboy this vast gulf and this constant fear has drifted downward, and fallen into the daily and profane space between ourselves and others." Sophia Lear, The New Republic Online (read the entire New Republic Online review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-yearold paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, hes convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the policeunknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted motherWill alone holds the key to the planets salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind.
 
Lowboy, John Wrays third novel, tells the story of Wills fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the citys tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Hellers desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violetbeautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her sonharbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.
 
Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boys haunting and extraordinary vision.

John Wray is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaans Tongue. He was named one of Granta magazines Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-yearold paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, hes convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the policeunknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted motherWill alone holds the key to the planets salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind.

Lowboy, John Wrays third novel, tells the story of Wills fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the citys tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Hellers desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violetbeautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her sonharbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.

Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boys haunting and extraordinary vision.

Lowboy is uncompromising, often gripping and generally excellent . . . One of the novels many pleasures is just going along: putting yourself fully in the hands of the story and its author, being drawn in, gradually immersed, making the connections, appreciating those seeds as they bloom into the tales developing complexity, danger and tragedy. By the time it all falls into place, the reader is long hooked and turning back is not an option . . . This is a meticulously constructed novel, immensely satisfying in the perfect, precise beat of its plot.”Charles Bock, The New York Times Book Review
Lowboy is uncompromising, often gripping and generally excellent . . . One of the novels many pleasures is just going along: putting yourself fully in the hands of the story and its author, being drawn in, gradually immersed, making the connections, appreciating those seeds as they bloom into the tales developing complexity, danger and tragedy. By the time it all falls into place, the reader is long hooked and turning back is not an option . . . This is a meticulously constructed novel, immensely satisfying in the perfect, precise beat of its plot. Wray, however, has larger goals than a thrill ride. The book's core is a nexus of tragedythe tragedy of a 17-year-old girl who, though she knows better, might do anything for the boy she loves; the tragedy of a mother whose life has been devoted to her son, yet who is incapable of helping him and who just may have been the source of his troubles; the tragedy of a middle-aged man caught between protecting the public and helping a parent; and finally, ultimately, the tragedy of a bright and beautiful teenager who not only must deal with all the confusions and pressures of being 16, but who, through no fault of his own, is not stable enough to be able to purchase a cupcake without confrontation. I'd be proud to be seen reading this novel on the downtown 6, or anywhere else at all.”Charles Bock, The New York Times Book Review

"What ever happened to the American Man? You know, the one who bullied and swore and drank his way through novels full of cigarette smoke, big cars and red meat? The one who'd abandon his family for a prostitute, or coerce his girlfriend into a threesome, or sleep with the housekeeper after murdering his wife? What happened to all those Rabbits and Portnoys and Rojacks and Wapshots and Herzogs? And does anyone really miss them? Judging from a sampling of recent male-penned fiction, the answer is no, not really . . . Which brings us to a tale told by a schizophrenic teenager, John Wray's dizzyingly seductive Lowboy. Wray's protagonist is on the lam from a mental institution, loose among the commuters and winos and rolling thunder of the Manhattan subway. Making your central character deeply insane is, of course, a risky and ambitious trick, but Wray carries it off with a fluid, inventive style that rises at times to a frightening pitch. Lowboy is an amplified hero for our times; despite his violence and craziness and incoherence, he is fundamentally sweet and in search of love."Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post

"John Wray is less interested in Lowboys picaresque circuits than in his mental circuits, whose damaged condition is brilliantly, compassionately evoked in the novel . . . Wray is never boring, largely because he has an uncanny talent for ventriloquism, and he seems to know, with unerring authority, how to select and make eloquent the details of Lowboys illness. He uses a variety of literary techniques . . . What is impressive about the book is its control, and its humane comprehension of radical otherness. In this regard, it ideally justifies itself, as one always hopes novels will. You can imagine replying to someone who was curious about what its like to be schizophrenic, 'Well, start with John Wrays novel.' Lowboy may often be lost to himself, but he is not lost to us. Wray knows how to induce and then manage a kind of epistemological schizophrenia in the reader, whereby we can inhabit Lowboys groundless visions and still glimpse the ground they negate. There is a brilliant scene, like something out of Pinter, in which Lowboy is at a bakery in the Village, buying cupcakes. Emily waits for him outside. He is

Review:

"Wray's captivating third novel drifts between psychological realities while exploring the narrative poetics of schizophrenia. The story centers on Will Heller, a 16-year-old New Yorker who has stopped taking his antipsychotic medication and wandered away from the mental hospital into the subway tunnels believing that the world will end within a few hours and that only he can save it. It's a novel that defies easy categorization, although in one sense it's a mystery, as a detective, Lateef, is on the case, assisted by Will's troubled mother, Violet. As Lateef tracks Will and gains some startling insight into Violet, Wray deploys brilliant hallucinatory visuals, including chilling descriptions of the subway system and an imaginary river flowing beneath Manhattan. In his previous works, Wray has shown that he's not a stranger to dark themes, and with this tightly wound novel, he reaches new heights." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

“A breathtaking journey.” O, The Oprah Magazine

“Youll tear through the pages . . . A lip-biting thriller to the finish.” Sarah Z. Wexler, Marie Claire

“[Wray] succeeds with a brisk plot and odd moments of humor.  The storys final grimness is tough, but its hard not to admire this bullet train of a book for its chilling power.”Stacey Levine, Bookforum

“Wray is an obviously gifted writer, who treatment of Will is a tour de force of empathy, style, and imagination.”Booklist

“John Wrays Lowboy is a psychotic, subterranean, environmentally conscious, coming-of-age novel.  It is also an affecting and affectionate love letter to New York.  Lowboy is John Wray at his highest.”Nathan Englander, author of Ministry of Special Cases

“Through the windows of John Wray's rumbling express, we catch sight of the deep darkness that lives inside the human psyche. Lowboy is a riveting and disturbing ride, illuminating one adolescent boy's shadowy underground, and giving us glimpses of our own as well.” – Colson Whitehead, author of Apex Hides the Hurt

“America's most original young writer has given us a book for the ages. Compelling, compassionate, and deeply unsettling, Lowboy introduces us to the brilliant sixteen-year-old Will Heller, a hero as three-dimensional as any in recent fiction, a Holden Caulfield for our troubled times.”Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutantes Handbook and Absurdistan

“Wrays captivating third novel drifts between psychological realities while exploring the narrative poetics of schizophrenia. . . . Wray deploys brilliant hallucinatory visuals, including chilling descriptions of the subway system and an imaginary river flowing beneath Manhattan. In his previous works, Wray has shown that hes not a stranger to dark themes, and with this tightly wound novel, he reaches new heights.” – Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Wray presents a powerful and vivid portrait of Will's mental state, believably entering into his apocalyptic vision of the world.” – Library Journal

Lowboy sucks you into the tunnels under NY and doesn't let you go until its perfect ending. Wray effortlessly portrays the cracked and distorted mind of his teenage hero. What a beguiling novel.” –Tim Pears, author of In The Place of Fallen Leaves

“Comparisons to J. D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye or Stephen Chboskys The Perks of Being a Wallflower are inevitable.” Karen E. Brooks-Reese, School Library Journal

Review:

"'The novel has a thriller-like pace, and Wray keeps us riveted and guessing, finding chilling rhetorical and pictorial equivalents for Wills uniquely dysfunctional perspective... The suspense is expertly maintained, straight through the novels dreamlike climactic encounter and heart-wrenching final paragraph. The opening pages recall Salingers Holden Caulfield, but the denouement and haunting aftertaste may make the stunned reader whisper "Dostoevsky.' Yes, it really is that good.'" Kirkus (starred)

Review:

"Lowboy is uncompromising, gripping and generally excellent . . . One of the novels many pleasures is just going along: putting yourself fully in the hands of the story and its author, being drawn in, gradually immersed, making the connections . . . By the time it all falls into place, the reader is long hooked and turning back is not an option . . . This is a meticulously constructed novel, immensely satisfying in the perfect, precise beat of its plot . . . I'd be proud to be seen reading this novel on the downtown 6, or anywhere else at all." Charles Bock, The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

A wholly original breakthrough novel driven by intense psychological insight and a fast-paced plot—set over a single day in New Yorks subway system.

Synopsis:

From an award-winning “savvy storyteller”* comes a page-turning, zeitgeist-capturing novel of a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through the recession.

James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do.

A winter in the mountains of California’s Siskiyou County introduces a tempting opportunity. A friend grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, he’ll pull down enough cash to survive for months.

James navigates life as a mule, then a boss—from moneyhungry friends to gun-toting drug lords, from Sacramento to Tallahassee, from just making the weight move cross-country to making thousands of dollars a day. The risks keep rising, forcing him to the next criminal level. A kidnapping, a shootout, a bank vault—it all culminates in a swirl of action.

Absorbing and timely,Muleperfectly captures the anxieties of plunging into the criminal world and of being a young person making do in a moment when the American Dream you never had to believe in—because it was handed to you, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window— suddenly vanishes from the menu.

*Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-yearold paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, hes convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the police—unknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted mother—Will alone holds the key to the planets salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind.
 
Lowboy, John Wrays third novel, tells the story of Wills fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the citys tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Hellers desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violet—beautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her son—harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.
 
Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boys haunting and extraordinary vision.

About the Author

John Wray is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaans Tongue. He was named one of Granta magazines Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

chintanjadwani, March 27, 2009 (view all comments by chintanjadwani)
I was very skeptical about buying this one, pretty expensive, but i'd read so many reviews, couldnt keep myself....n well, IT WAS WORTH IT, of whatever i spent.
John Wray mesmerizes with this novel, one which everybody espec. the youth should read, know where we digging our ditches, a must read..!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374194161
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Wray, John
Author:
D'Souza, Tony
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Schizophrenia
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20100202
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Lowboy Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374194161 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Wray's captivating third novel drifts between psychological realities while exploring the narrative poetics of schizophrenia. The story centers on Will Heller, a 16-year-old New Yorker who has stopped taking his antipsychotic medication and wandered away from the mental hospital into the subway tunnels believing that the world will end within a few hours and that only he can save it. It's a novel that defies easy categorization, although in one sense it's a mystery, as a detective, Lateef, is on the case, assisted by Will's troubled mother, Violet. As Lateef tracks Will and gains some startling insight into Violet, Wray deploys brilliant hallucinatory visuals, including chilling descriptions of the subway system and an imaginary river flowing beneath Manhattan. In his previous works, Wray has shown that he's not a stranger to dark themes, and with this tightly wound novel, he reaches new heights." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Derrida once described God as 'the being that can never be misheard or misunderstood: a measure of the gulf between the human and the divine, and a sacralization of the ever-present fear that one's words might not be able to travel across without perversion.' But in Lowboy this vast gulf and this constant fear has drifted downward, and fallen into the daily and profane space between ourselves and others." (read the entire New Republic Online review)
"Review" by , “A breathtaking journey.” O, The Oprah Magazine

“Youll tear through the pages . . . A lip-biting thriller to the finish.” Sarah Z. Wexler, Marie Claire

“[Wray] succeeds with a brisk plot and odd moments of humor.  The storys final grimness is tough, but its hard not to admire this bullet train of a book for its chilling power.”Stacey Levine, Bookforum

“Wray is an obviously gifted writer, who treatment of Will is a tour de force of empathy, style, and imagination.”Booklist

“John Wrays Lowboy is a psychotic, subterranean, environmentally conscious, coming-of-age novel.  It is also an affecting and affectionate love letter to New York.  Lowboy is John Wray at his highest.”Nathan Englander, author of Ministry of Special Cases

“Through the windows of John Wray's rumbling express, we catch sight of the deep darkness that lives inside the human psyche. Lowboy is a riveting and disturbing ride, illuminating one adolescent boy's shadowy underground, and giving us glimpses of our own as well.” – Colson Whitehead, author of Apex Hides the Hurt

“America's most original young writer has given us a book for the ages. Compelling, compassionate, and deeply unsettling, Lowboy introduces us to the brilliant sixteen-year-old Will Heller, a hero as three-dimensional as any in recent fiction, a Holden Caulfield for our troubled times.”Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutantes Handbook and Absurdistan

“Wrays captivating third novel drifts between psychological realities while exploring the narrative poetics of schizophrenia. . . . Wray deploys brilliant hallucinatory visuals, including chilling descriptions of the subway system and an imaginary river flowing beneath Manhattan. In his previous works, Wray has shown that hes not a stranger to dark themes, and with this tightly wound novel, he reaches new heights.” – Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Wray presents a powerful and vivid portrait of Will's mental state, believably entering into his apocalyptic vision of the world.” – Library Journal

Lowboy sucks you into the tunnels under NY and doesn't let you go until its perfect ending. Wray effortlessly portrays the cracked and distorted mind of his teenage hero. What a beguiling novel.” –Tim Pears, author of In The Place of Fallen Leaves

“Comparisons to J. D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye or Stephen Chboskys The Perks of Being a Wallflower are inevitable.” Karen E. Brooks-Reese, School Library Journal

"Review" by , "'The novel has a thriller-like pace, and Wray keeps us riveted and guessing, finding chilling rhetorical and pictorial equivalents for Wills uniquely dysfunctional perspective... The suspense is expertly maintained, straight through the novels dreamlike climactic encounter and heart-wrenching final paragraph. The opening pages recall Salingers Holden Caulfield, but the denouement and haunting aftertaste may make the stunned reader whisper "Dostoevsky.' Yes, it really is that good.'" (starred)
"Review" by , "Lowboy is uncompromising, gripping and generally excellent . . . One of the novels many pleasures is just going along: putting yourself fully in the hands of the story and its author, being drawn in, gradually immersed, making the connections . . . By the time it all falls into place, the reader is long hooked and turning back is not an option . . . This is a meticulously constructed novel, immensely satisfying in the perfect, precise beat of its plot . . . I'd be proud to be seen reading this novel on the downtown 6, or anywhere else at all."
"Synopsis" by ,

A wholly original breakthrough novel driven by intense psychological insight and a fast-paced plot—set over a single day in New Yorks subway system.

"Synopsis" by ,

From an award-winning “savvy storyteller”* comes a page-turning, zeitgeist-capturing novel of a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through the recession.

James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do.

A winter in the mountains of California’s Siskiyou County introduces a tempting opportunity. A friend grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, he’ll pull down enough cash to survive for months.

James navigates life as a mule, then a boss—from moneyhungry friends to gun-toting drug lords, from Sacramento to Tallahassee, from just making the weight move cross-country to making thousands of dollars a day. The risks keep rising, forcing him to the next criminal level. A kidnapping, a shootout, a bank vault—it all culminates in a swirl of action.

Absorbing and timely,Muleperfectly captures the anxieties of plunging into the criminal world and of being a young person making do in a moment when the American Dream you never had to believe in—because it was handed to you, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window— suddenly vanishes from the menu.

*Entertainment Weekly

"Synopsis" by ,
Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-yearold paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, hes convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the police—unknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted mother—Will alone holds the key to the planets salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind.
 
Lowboy, John Wrays third novel, tells the story of Wills fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the citys tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Hellers desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violet—beautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her son—harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.
 
Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boys haunting and extraordinary vision.

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