The Low Road: A Novel
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The Low Road: A Novel

by Chris Womersley
     
 

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Unflinching, relentless, and powerfully written, The Low Road paints a searing portrait of two desperate men thrown together by chance as they both try to flee their troubled pasts. This savage noir surprises and grips at every turn.
 
Young petty criminal Lee wakes up in a seedy motel with a bullet in his side, a suitcase of stolen money, and only a

Overview

Unflinching, relentless, and powerfully written, The Low Road paints a searing portrait of two desperate men thrown together by chance as they both try to flee their troubled pasts. This savage noir surprises and grips at every turn.
 
Young petty criminal Lee wakes up in a seedy motel with a bullet in his side, a suitcase of stolen money, and only a hazy idea of how he got there. Wild, a drug-addicted doctor also taking refuge at the motel, is forced by the proprietor to save Lee's life--and move him out before the police show up. Connected by this twist of fate, the two strangers go on the lam, becoming the wariest of traveling companions. As the two men reflect on how they arrived at this point in their lives, the past pursues them in the form of an aging gangster determined to retrieve Lee's suitcase of money--and punish him for the theft.
 
Award-winning and critically acclaimed, The Low Road seduces readers with its poetic language and unique and indelible protagonists.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Near the outset of Ned Kelly Award–winner Womersley’s debut, his second novel to be published in the U.S. (after Bereft), Dr. Wild (aka the Junkie Doctor), abandoned by his wife and teenage daughter, not to mention his friends (“Those around him nodded sympathetically, hid their wallets and lost his phone number”), decides to leave home and hit the road. After two nights sleeping in his car, Wild reaches the outskirts of an unnamed Australian city and checks into a cheap motel. A day or two later, the manager asks him to attend to Lee, a young man dumped at the motel with a serious abdominal bullet wound. Wild does what little he can to stabilize Lee, and agrees to take him to an old doctor friend out “on the plains.” Meanwhile, criminals are seeking to claim their right to the eight grand Lee has on him. Fans of literate contemporary noir will find plenty to like. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“Womersley's taut, almost monosyllabic prose creates a relentless momentum as it plunges into a black dreamscape with echoes of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Samuel Beckett, Horace McCoy, Georges Simenon and Philip K. Dick... This is writing you often stop to read aloud.”--The Australian

“The Low Road is richly and powerfully written. It is also an almost unbearably intense, tragic, and unrelentingly dark story of addiction, regret, despair, and failed dreams that left this reader mightily impressed.”--Bookseller & Publisher

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402798634
Publisher:
SilverOak
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

The Low Road, Chris Womersley's debut novel, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Book in 2008. His second novel, Bereft, won the ABIA for Best Literary Fiction 2011, the Indie Award for Best Fiction 2011, and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's most prestigious literary award. His fiction and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Granta New Writing 14, Best Australian Stories 2006, Best Australian Stories 2010, The Monthly, and The Age. In 2007, one of his short stories won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize. Womersley lives and writes in Sydney.

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