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The Lost Highway
Cover of The Lost Highway
The Lost Highway
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From the two-time winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award, a suspenseful story of greed, betrayal, murder, and a lottery ticket that may or may not be worth millions. For twenty years, Alex Chapman—a worn-out academic and failed priest—has been at war with his great-uncle James, a man known in his small-town community as “The Tyrant.” Embittered and disillusioned, Alex believes that James is responsible for his harsh childhood, for the loss of his one true love, and, ultimately, for the unfortunate direction his life has taken. So when Alex runs into the slow-witted local auto mechanic who claims he has just given James Chapman a winning lottery ticket worth thirteen million dollars, Alex sees his chance for revenge, and plots to steal the ticket away from his aging uncle. Thus begins an emotionally shattering story of a family’s deep-seated grudges and dangerous passions, all set around a lonely, country road where rival provinces have converged for years. A chilling exploration of what happens when our moral questions become matters of life and death, The Lost Highway is a page-turning tale of small-town jealousy and corruption. About the Author: David Adams Richards was born in New Brunswick. He is the acclaimed author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Governor General’s Award–winning Nights Below Station Street, the Giller Prize winner Mercy Among the Children, and, most recently, The Friends of Meager Fortune.

From the two-time winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award, a suspenseful story of greed, betrayal, murder, and a lottery ticket that may or may not be worth millions. For twenty years, Alex Chapman—a worn-out academic and failed priest—has been at war with his great-uncle James, a man known in his small-town community as “The Tyrant.” Embittered and disillusioned, Alex believes that James is responsible for his harsh childhood, for the loss of his one true love, and, ultimately, for the unfortunate direction his life has taken. So when Alex runs into the slow-witted local auto mechanic who claims he has just given James Chapman a winning lottery ticket worth thirteen million dollars, Alex sees his chance for revenge, and plots to steal the ticket away from his aging uncle. Thus begins an emotionally shattering story of a family’s deep-seated grudges and dangerous passions, all set around a lonely, country road where rival provinces have converged for years. A chilling exploration of what happens when our moral questions become matters of life and death, The Lost Highway is a page-turning tale of small-town jealousy and corruption. About the Author: David Adams Richards was born in New Brunswick. He is the acclaimed author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the Governor General’s Award–winning Nights Below Station Street, the Giller Prize winner Mercy Among the Children, and, most recently, The Friends of Meager Fortune.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 3, 2008
    Prize-winning Canadian author Richards (The Friends of Meager Fortune) spins a sad, thoughtful tale around Alex Chapman, a community-college ethics teacher living in a small Canadian town of English- and French-speaking whites and Micmac Indians. Alex's lifelong feud with his tyrannical great-uncle James drives him to desperation. At the opening of the novel, James has lost his paving business. He asks Alex to take his truck in to have the oil changed; Alex refuses. James vows that Alex won't inherit, and Alex is furious, though in fact it is he who contrived to make his uncle lose his biggest contract. When the mechanic, a simple man named Burton, gives James a lottery ticket worth thirteen million dollars, Alex decides to steal it. He blames his uncle for an old humiliation that caused him to refuse to admit his feelings for Minnie, the soft-spoken girl who loved him. The novel draws on a number of different perspectives including Burton, Minnie's daughter, Amy, and Leo Bourque, the schoolmate who bullied Alex when he was a child. Richards goes to unnecessary lengths to explain his characters' motivations, and this slows the narrative pace considerably. Still, the novel presents complicated ethical dilemmas and offers sharp insights into complex emotional motives.

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