Desperation Road

Desperation Road

by Michael Farris Smith


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In the vein of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the works of Ron Rash, a novel set in a tough-and-tumble Mississippi town where drugs, whiskey, guns, and the desire for revenge violently intersect.

For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman Penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His sentence is now up, and he believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns home, he soon discovers that revenge lives and breathes all around him.

On the same day that Russell is released from prison, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled in the middle o the road in the glow of his own headlights.

With the dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save—his own or those of the woman and child.

Delivered in powerful and lyrical prose, Desperation Road is a story of troubled souls twisted with regret and bound by secrets that stretch over the years and across the land.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316353045
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 248,829
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Farris Smith is the author of Desperation Road, Rivers and The Hands of Strangers and is the recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Author Award. His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times, Catfish Alley, Deep South Magazine, and more. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and two daughters.

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Desperation Road 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! Best of 2017!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I just want to sing the praises for this book. It was so good, so sad, and yet so good. Russell has just spent the last 11 years in prison and is now coming home. He's just finished his workshop and is on the bus home. He stands up, heads towards the door and stops. Two guys are waiting for him, they aren't friendly. They proceed to beat the crap out of him. They have decided 11 years inside isn't enough punishment. Welcome home. Maben and her little girl are walking down the freeway. They've been at this for a while, a long while. Longer than Maben would like to count. A man feels sorry for them and picks them up and takes them to the nearest truck stop and gives her $40. She feels rich, she has just doubled her money. They eat dinner and get a room. The first shower and bed they've had in weeks. Both Maben and Russell know this is their life. They've come to accept it and they try to make the best of it. They are good people. No matter what they try to do, someone always hands them another sh&& can. They end up together, little do they know that they have a past connection. However, before they discover it, they are already trying to help each other. This is their story. It's a great story, I absolutely loved it. I am already going to say that it will be on my list for best of 2017. There is so much going on. People abusing their power, grown men who won't grow up, revenge, people who need to be in jail walking the streets, it's just crazy some of it. And a lot of it is just one guy. I was so sad to say goodbye to these characters. I really became attached to them, especially Maben and the little girl. She was trying so hard and just couldn't get a break. This was the second book I have read by this author and I have loved both this one and "Rivers". Huge thanks to Little, Brown and Company for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.