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Extended Audio Sample Lowboy, 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 Garci Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Kerry | 12/15/2013

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

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