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The Lincoln Highway: A Novel Kindle Edition
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A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year
“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A classic that we will read for years to come.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club
“A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.” – NPR
The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.
Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.
“[A] mischievous, wise and wildly entertaining novel . . . Towles goes all in on the kind of episodic, exuberant narrative haywire found in myth or Homeric epic . . . Each [character], Towles implies, is the central protagonist of an ongoing adventure that is both unique and universal . . . remarkably buoyant . . . permeated with light, wit, youth . . . Towles has snipped off a minuscule strand of existence—10 wayward days—and when we look through his lens we see that this brief interstice teems with stories, grand as legends.” —Chris Batcheldor, New York Times Book Review
“Not only is it one of the most beautifully written books I have ever picked up, it’s a story about hope, friendship and companionship in a time when we need it so much . . . Towles brilliantly captures the inner reality of each [character] with profound and poetic prose. All eight of them are incredible forces in literature . . . Amor Towles is one of those authors that I think will become a Steinbeck of our generation and [...] I think The Lincoln Highway will be a classic that we will read for years to come.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Read With Jenna book club
“[A] real joyride . . . hitch onto this delightful tour de force and you'll be pulled straight through to the end, helpless against the inventive exuberance of Towles' storytelling . . . The Lincoln Highway is elegantly constructed and compulsively readable . . . action-packed . . . There's so much to enjoy in this generous novel packed with fantastic characters [...] and filled with digressions, magic tricks, sorry sagas, retributions, and the messy business of balancing accounts.” —NPR.org
“Gorgeously crafted . . . Towles binds the novel with compassion and scrupulous detail . . . Towles draws a line between the social maladies of then and now, connecting the yearnings of his characters with our own volatile era. He does it with stylish, sophisticated storytelling . . . The novel embraces the contradictions of our character with a skillful hand, guiding the reader forward with 'a sensation of floating – like one who’s being carried down a wide river on a warm summer day.'” —Washington Post
“The astonishingly versatile author of Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow returns with an American picaresque destined to become a classic . . . adventures and memorable characters abound. Using multiple points-of-view and shifting from comedy to tragedy and back again, Towles enthralls.” —O Quarterly
“[A] captivating piece of historical fiction . . . transporting . . . a rollicking cross-country adventure, rife with unforgettable characters, vivid scenery and suspense that will keep readers flying through the pages.” —TIME
“[The] notion of American openness, of ever-fractalizing free will, coming up against the fickle realities of fate is the tension that powers Towles’ exciting, entertaining […] picaresque . . . Stories can bring us back to ourselves, Towles seems to say, if only we are open to receiving their power . . . Anyone who follows The Lincoln Highway will relish the trip.” —Los Angeles Times
[E]xhilarating . . . this multiperspective story offers an abundance of surprising detours and run-ins.” —Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review
“Welcome to the enormous pleasure that is The Lincoln Highway, a big book of camaraderie and adventure in which the miles fly by and the pages turn fast. Set over the course of ten riveting days, the story of these four boys unfolds, refolds, tears, and is taped back together. When you aren’t actually reading the book, you’ll be worrying about the characters, so you might as well stay in your chair and keep reading.” —Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
“Captivating . . . The Lincoln Highway has suspense, humor, philosophy, and a strong sense of time and place, moving quickly and surely toward a satisfying conclusion . . . Like the intercontinental route that it is named for, The Lincoln Highway is long and filled with intriguing detours. In the hands of a master wordsmith like Towles, it is definitely worth the trip.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“An enthralling odyssey.” —People
“Absorbing.” —USA Today
“[A] reason to rejoice.” —The Millions
“A wild ride through Americana.” —Buzzfeed
“An absolute beauty of a book. Every character is a gem, the many locations spring to vivid life, the book is an intricate and moving exploration of journeys and the infinite unexpected turns they can take—and somehow Towles makes it all seem effortless. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again.” —Tana French, bestselling author of The Searcher
“[A] bracing, heroic adventure . . . Towles plays stylishly with elements of the picaresque, the coming-of-age novel and the epic quest . . . The indelible final scene, which I did not see coming, perfectly encapsulates the theme of inheritance, and what choices the characters make about what they are given, to determine their own fates.” —Seattle Times
“[The Lincoln Highway] loses none of the author’s trademark wit or style . . . a cross-country adventure packed with unexpected twists and unforgettable action.” —Town & Country
“The Lincoln Highway is a road novel that celebrates the mythos of an era via a cross-country highway . . . Readers [...] will delight in this travelogue's touchstones.” —Star-Tribune
“History [and] adventure collide in The Lincoln Highway . . . The pace is fast and writing concise, making it a digestible read whether in bed or at a loud coffee shop.” —Associated Press
“Magnificent . . . Towles is a supreme storyteller, and this one-of-a-kind kind of novel isn’t to be missed.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Towles’ third novel is even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow . . . A remarkable blend of sweetness and doom, [The Lincoln Highway] is packed with revelations about the American myth, the art of storytelling, and the unrelenting pull of history. An exhilarating ride through Americana.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Packed with drama . . . Towles’ fans will be rewarded with many of the same pleasures they’ve come to expect from him: a multitude of stories told at a leisurely pace (the novel clocks in at 592 pages); numerous endearing and sometimes maddening characters; and pitch-perfect plotting with surprises at every turn . . . Towles has created another winning novel whose pages are destined to be turned—and occasionally tattered—by gratified readers.” —BookPage (starred)
“[A] playfully thought-provoking novel . . . [Towles] juggles the pieces of his plot deftly, shifting from voice to voice, skirting sentimentality and quirkiness with a touch of wistful regret, and leading up to an ending that is bound to provoke discussion.” —Booklist (starred)
“[The Lincoln Highway] is reason to rejoice for Towles’s millions of fans, who made his first two novels, Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow, runaway international bestsellers.” —The Millions
- ASIN : B08WRH53MY
- Publisher : Viking (October 5, 2021)
- Publication date : October 5, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 4126 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 588 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #8 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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At the heart of the story are 2 young brothers, one a teenager and one a child of 8, who are about to set out to find their mother after the death of their father. The people they encounter, the ones who join their travels, are such interesting and unique characters, with big hearts and dreams all their own, that we become privy to.
Amor Towles' writing is pure poetry. It lets you ride along with him on the wildest of adventures that leaves you breathless and satisfied. This book is a winner.!.
Top reviews from other countries
Their old life has certainly featured many tribulations. As the novel opens, eighteen-year-old Emmett is being driven home by the Warder of Salinas, a juvenile detention centre, where he had served a short sentence for accidentally causing the death of a young man (not without provocation, Emmett had punched him, causing him to fall and hit his head). He is welcomed back to the family farm by the father and daughter from a neighbouring farm. During his sentence, Emmett’s father (who had always struggled to manage the farm) had died, and eight-year-old Billy had been looked after by Sally. She will emerge as a powerful character in the book, driven by a fierce righteousness that has been provoked by finding herself constantly expected to look after men who scarcely even acknowledge her. Immediately upon his return Emmett also learns that the bank is about to foreclose the various loans that his father had taken, and on which massive arrears have accrued.
I am conscious of how much I enjoyed the book, so am anxious not to strew any inadvertent spoilers, so won’t say much more about the basic background scenario, beyond saying that, after having planned to head to the west coast, for various reasons they actually end up travelling east. Their journey will be far from smooth, with a succession of mishaps and pitfalls, but also some extraordinary encounters, and some delightful characters.
Emmett is a finely drawn character, and his attitude to life and his obligations is far from what one might anticipate from a character just released from a custodial sentence. He has a strong moral code, and is determined never again to place himself under a debt or obligation to anyone else. Billy is earnest and erudite beyond his years, but with a very literal approach to life. His understanding of the world is largely formed from his enthusiastic study of a book drawing together a series of stories about exalted traveller, both real and fictional.
Emmett and Billy are joined in their travels by Duchess and Woolly, two of Emmett’s fellow inmates at Salinas. Woolly is from a privileged background, but has not found it easy to engage with life. Duchess has had a far harder upbringing, and while he has his own moral code, it is markedly different in scope, and implementation, from that of Emmett.
Towles delivers the story through sections focusing in turns on different characters, with some first-person observations from Duchess thrown in along the way. I have found that this narrative form can detract from a story’s impact, but that is not the case here. The author keeps the story moving smoothly forward, despite the various tangents on which the action frequently departs.
All in all, this is a great story peopled by marvellous characters, and I had enjoyed reading it so much that I felt sad when I finished it.
Overwritten and under-edited.
Came across as a poor man's Garrison Keilor's stories (Lake Woebegone).
Every single character has the insight and wisdom of Socrates.
A poor effort that smacks of the author fulfilling requirements for a book contract.