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The lost highway : a novel von David Adams…
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The lost highway : a novel (Original 2007; 2008. Auflage)

von David Adams Richards

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965227,969 (3.13)20
A bitter family division grows profoundly deeper when an angry great-nephew seeks revenge against his great-uncle.
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In New Brunswick, the lives of two men intertwine with disastrous results. Alex Chapman is a former seminary student and former university professor, returned home and teaching a class at the local community college. He blames his great-uncle, James, for ruining his life. When he learns that James has unknowingly been sold a lottery ticket worth $13 million, he decides to steal it.

Enter Leo Bourque. A childhood tormentor of Alex, who in later life, came to admire Alex's success at university. Leo becomes aware of Alex's plans and insists on a share.

This is a great story with great, complex characters and nuanced motivations. It really held my interest. My one dissatisfaction is that, at the end, the author explained his characters -- almost like a professor would -- rather than allowing the realizations emerge for the reader. ( )
  LynnB | Oct 6, 2020 |
I've never read a murder mystery quite like this. Richards' writing style sort of ambles along, giving lilting internal monologues as characters become increasingly tortured by their own choices, all the while finding innovative ways to rationalize the morally ambiguous and the morally reprehensible. And so the reader can feel empathy for the evil doers in the story, yet still be appalled. The strength of the book is its characters. ( )
1 abstimmen canread | Dec 13, 2010 |
Prepare to shiver at Richards’ dark portrayal of the intellectual. In The Lost Highway, Alex Chapman is an irritable and ungrateful young man, but he has a measure of intelligence. He uses this small gift to cope with bullies. It takes him to priest school, but he is insincere and eventually derides it, preferring atheism and finding his home in a liberal university. Here, right and wrong are substituted for approval and disapproval. It is a place where someone like Alex can wind up teaching ethics. The politics of the university finally circle in on Alex, and he is compelled to leave, forced to live a destitute life in a shack on his uncle’s property. The novel takes off at this point, for Alex discovers that his uncle has won a lottery and Alex believes he has the means to steal the ticket from him. Alex’s real understanding of ethics is put to the test, especially when Leo Bourque, a bully from childhood, becomes entangled in the plot. Alex is not a sociopath, and he must struggle with his conscience, or at least his self-perception of being an ethical man. One might think that atheism would make some ethical questions easier to answer, but no (of course religion never does either). It is sometimes said that all good acts can be traced to a selfish motive; with Alex, each wicked act twists its way to virtue. Through Alex, Richards takes reader on a riveting journey to the limits of ethical rationalization. Bourque is a sociopath, and the crimes and cover ups escalate with each chapter. This is the third great book I have read by Richards (Mercy Among the Children, Bay of Love and Sorrows). He is compared to Thomas Hardy and deserves it.

http://johnmiedema.ca/2009/09/07/the-lost-highway-by-david-adams-richards-book-r... ( )
1 abstimmen jmiedema | Dec 7, 2009 |
This is probably the saddest and most broody book that I have read in some time. It does start out slow and we delve deep into Alex Chapman's mind and his motives, but about halfway through it picks up quite a bit. By that time Mr. Adams has set the stage for a great psychological suspense book that shows depravity at its very worst. Richards' plot is set in and around an unclaimed winning lottery ticket, and he shows how the thought of a large amount of money can change people's personalities entirely and how it can cause some people to step way over the line. I love the setting in around New Brunswick. It is the perfect place near this lost highway for all kinds of dark and terrible things to happen. I know there are lots of places in Canada that are in decline like this place that Richards has chosen for his setting. Rural Canada has many roads to nowhere and many people that society has forgotten that still live there. This book is a tragedy, but one that I could not put down once I got into it. ( )
  Romonko | Oct 31, 2009 |
Lost in the Lost Highway

A decent mystery thriller by David Adams Richards. If you've watched the film "A Simple Plan" with Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, the plot for "The Lost Highway" is strikingly similar. Instead of a bag full or cash though, it's a $13 million lotto ticket.

The best part of the book is the character development. The protagonist is a fellow by the name of Alex Chapman. Richards does a great job showing us the dichotomous nature of Alex. He is an ethics professor who has a fetish for Stalin. He is kicked out of the Seminary because he steals. He is supposed to be the intellectual but is outsmarted by his loser friend Leo Bourque. The auxiliary characters in Minnie, Amy, Burton, James, and Markus Paul are all interesting and add a lot to the development of the story.

I think the plot starts out well, but gets strung out in the last third of the book when Markus is chasing down the mystery. Richards gets bogged down in the logistics of explaining who goes where and who does what and his characters flatline in their drama and development. I would've preferred if Richards simply cut out the twists and turns and got straight to the point and finished the book with more depth.

Overall, I think the book is a decent mystery thriller. It's not a gem, but certainly a good read for an afternoon or two. ( )
  bruchu | Nov 21, 2008 |
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A bitter family division grows profoundly deeper when an angry great-nephew seeks revenge against his great-uncle.

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