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Extended Audio Sample Lowboy Audiobook, by John Wray Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,054 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Wray Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504628075
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Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, gets on a New York City uptown B train on a fantastic and terrifying quest to save the world. Violet Heller, his frantic mother, is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing persons specialist, in a desperate attempt to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. As the stakes grow higher, Lateef gradually comes to realize that this is more than a case of a runaway teen: Will Heller has a chilling case history, and Violet, beautiful and enigmatic, harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril.

Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boy's haunting and extraordinary vision.

DON'T MISS THIS TRAIN! John Wray and others read from Lowboy on a New York subway. Click HERE.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wray’s third novel, Lowboy, is uncompromising, often gripping and generally excellent…Wray deftly takes readers in and out of the psyche of what they will learn is a paranoid schizophrenic teenager…One of the novel’s many pleasures is just going along: putting yourself fully in the hands of the story and its author…This is a meticulously constructed novel, immensely satisfying in the perfect, precise beat of its plot.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wray’s captivating third novel drifts between psychological realities while exploring the narrative poetics of schizophrenia…Wray deploys brilliant hallucinatory visuals, including chilling descriptions of the subway system and an imaginary river flowing beneath Manhattan. In his previous works, Wray has shown that he’s not a stranger to dark themes, and with this tightly wound novel, he reaches new heights.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Paul Michael Garcia sounds involved from the very beginning of this story and never allows even the slightest moment of it to slip away from him. As the troubled youth, Will, Garcia delivers a transcendent performance that will be deeply affecting to listeners. As the boy's mother, Violet, Garcia scales back his delivery, presenting a broken-hearted character wrought with desperation as she searches for her son and keeps a secret.”

    AudioFile

  • “A breathtaking journey through the subway tunnels of Manhattan and the subterranean fantasies of a schizophrenic teen…Lowboy has an apocalyptic obsession with global warming (he believes that only he can save the world), but more immediate perils reside in the twists and turns of the human psyche.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “What’s most seductive for me about John Wray’s third novel—and arguably the one that puts him squarely on the map alongside contemporary luminaries like Joseph O'Neill, Jonathan Lethem, and Junot Diaz—is how skillfully it explores the mind’s mysterious terrain…Wray invokes all the classic elements of a mystery in the telling, and that’s what makes this novel such a searing read…This kind of pacing is the stuff we crave—the kind that draws you in so unawares that before you know it, it’s past midnight and you’re down to the last page.”

    Amazon.com Spotlight Review, Best of the Month, March 2009

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Oprah Irresistible Read
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2009

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connor | 1/21/2014

    " This book was really good. It moved fast and kept my interest. I'm guessing it had an accurate depiction of what's it like to go through life being a paranoid schizophrenic. It can seem really scary. I felt bad for pretty much everyone involved: Will, Violet (or Yda,) Emily and even Lateef, because he seemed to be falling for Yda. The book was well written and I loved the relationship between Will and Emily, in the beginning. I recommend this book, but i should give a heads up that it's a dark one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 12/26/2013

    " I really liked this book. A brief look out at the world thru the eyes of a mentally ill young man. Very poignant, I found myself cheering him on in his bizarre quest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Cohen | 12/20/2013

    " I loved this book-right from the start! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 12/15/2013

    " I reviewed this at my blog, Hungry Like the Woolf. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mindy | 12/9/2013

    " This author alternates between the boy with schizophrenia's perspective and his mother with an investigator's perspective and I really appreciated it. I enjoyed this book as something different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike McQuillian | 10/25/2013

    " An accurate depiction of paranoid schizophrenia? Not sure. Riveting? Definitely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 10/2/2013

    " I read this after Buffalo Lockjaw - trying to get through Buffalo bron authors. Lowboy is interesting. As with Buffalo Lockjaw I wasn't wowed but it was interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige Newman | 9/17/2013

    " Really enjoyed this one (thanks for the recommendation, Daniel). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meg | 8/17/2013

    " Recommended if you want a nice dose of schizophrenia. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Victoria | 8/10/2013

    " Peek into the head of a schizophrenic in the subways of New York who wants to solve global warming. The ending was predictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 7/22/2013

    " This was very touching story. It was interesting and it draws you in. It loses some momentum when you have to deal with the mother & the detective, but when dealing with Lowboy you are riveted. Well written and highly recommended. I passed my copy on to a friend I thought would love it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hudak | 3/7/2013

    " Just kinda too bizarre for me. A quick read, but not so memorable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 2/14/2013

    " Why no hyphens in your compound adjectives, John Wray? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Pope | 10/31/2012

    " LOWBOY is a brilliant novel, nearly impossible to put down. Wray takes you inside the head of a young paranoid schizophrenic, who's stopped taking his meds. An amazing job of capturing that delusional perspective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jt | 6/8/2012

    " Disappointing. Felt like he was trying to hard to sound like a paranoid schizophrenic and lost all ability to actually write. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darleen | 5/3/2012

    " i gave it an honest effort.........over 100 pages. there are few books tht i don't complete...........i was more confused than "lowboy" was. nuff said "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kourtney Imburgia | 1/13/2012

    " Eh, not that good. You don't get credit for writing an incomprehensible book if it doesn't have anything more to it. Sorry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aharon | 5/30/2011

    " Quirky goings-on involving mental illness in metropolitan New York? Well, I guess there's a first time for everything. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amber | 4/16/2011

    " Halfway through and just couldn't bring myself to waste any more time with it. The Author has a way with words which was beautiful but the story was dull and going nowhere. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 3/20/2011

    " The descriptions of Will's visions during his decompensations were visually impressive and really gripping. I did not find the same to be true for the story with the cop and his mother though. As a result, I felt let down by those aspects of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elyse | 3/16/2011

    " a bipolar boy rides the depths of the subways and thinks out loud for the reader. Strange and felt a bit sorry for him, but story not as good as I thought it would be. I did, however, like the fact that it took place in NYC SUBWAYS and I know every location he spoke of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catarina | 3/15/2011

    " A heartbreaking and beautifully written novel. I found all the characters to be very intriguing and sympathetic. The parts told from Will's perspective are pretty amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 3/9/2011

    " I really liked this book. A brief look out at the world thru the eyes of a mentally ill young man. Very poignant, I found myself cheering him on in his bizarre quest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/26/2011

    " The subject matter was intriguing, but it just wasn't as captivating as I had hoped. I liked it, but I can think of books that I liked better. I'd give another one of John Wray's books a chance. Sometimes the timing of what one is reading just isn't right. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 1/9/2011

    " Good, a little short on the ending. But that matched the style of the book. "

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About the Author
Author John WrayJohn Wray is the author of critically acclaimed novels including Lowboy, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan’s Tongue. He was named one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.