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One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | November 2017 Book of the Month
In the hinterlands of America, a man completes his jail sentence for accidental murder and returns to his home town, where relatives of the boy he killed whilst drunk driving are set on revenge. The sad lives of people caught in a circle of despair is captured with poignant accuracy as well as the slippery slope that leads them there despite all their best intentions. A novel about the day to day life and travails of ordinary people eager for redemption or, at any rate, a chance at a normal life, this is both moving and gripping as the assorted characters reach out for a safety raft of sorts despite all the indignities circumstances heap on them and they struggle to retain dignity and principles. A harsh but beautiful thriller that has you cheering under your breath for its wounded, fallible protagonist throughout and a considerable achievement, with echoes of WINTER'S BONE in its celebration of the human spirit. And lest I make Farris Smith's novel sound too worthy, may I add it grips like a vice... ~ Maxim Jakubowski
In the vein of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and the works of Ron Rash, a novel set in a roughand- 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 sat in Parchman penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His time now up, and believing his debt paid, he returns home only to discover that revenge lives and breathes all around.
On the day of his release, 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 motel room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled across the road in the glow of his own headlights.
With dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save – his own, or those of the woman and child?
|Publication date:||23rd November 2017|
|Author:||Michael Farris Smith|
|Publisher:||No Exit Press an imprint of Oldcastle Books Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
Closing date: 30/09/2021
Praise for Desperation Road:
'A brilliantly compelling novel' - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner
'Cinema written all over it... A particularly good novel if you like whispering 'Sh*t...' in an incredulous voice' - Shortlist
'Michael Farris Smith is one of the best writers of his generation, and this very well may be his best work — Desperation Road is taut, tense and impossible to put down' - Tom Franklin, NYT bestselling author of Crooked Letter and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
'Desperation Road reads as if it were forged in a fire stoked by the ghosts of Carson McCullers, Larry Brown, and William Gay. The result is a novel rife with violent beauty and incredible grace. Smith's terse, muscular prose encapsulates a heart that renders this novel as rich and alive and wounded as any you'll find in contemporary fiction' - Wiley Cash, NYT bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy
'Desperation Road is an elegantly written, perfectly paced novel about a man and a woman, indelibly marked by violence' - Ron Rash, NYT bestselling author of Serena and The Cove
Michael Farris Smith is the award-winning author of Rivers and The Hands of Strangers. Rivers was named in numerous Best Books of the Year lists, and garnered the 2014 Mississippi Author Award for Fiction. His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his essays have appeared in The New York Times, Catfish Alley, Writer’s Bone, and more. He lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with his wife and two daughters. Author photo © Chris JenkinsMore About Michael Farris Smith