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The Lost Highway Hardcover – Nov 20 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; Canadian First edition (Nov. 20 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385664966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385664967
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #614,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 16 2009
Format: Paperback
In "Lost Highway", the Acadian writer, David Adams Richards, has written a captivating story about interfamilial strife in the Mirachimi region of New Brunswick. There seems to be an uncanny parallel between this novel and Thomas Hardy's Wessex novels such as "Tess of the D'Ubervilles" and "Jude the Obscure", where the main characters are locked in a never-ending struggle with their consciences and their fellow beings. Richards' tale, as stated in other reviews, can be reduced to a basic plotline where Alex Chapman, an orphan, has gone to live with a cruel great-uncle who treats him in a demeaning and heartless fashion. By the time Alex reaches manhood, he is one very confused and maligned character, torn between wanting to do good by living an ethical life and fighting the demons of his past: sexual impotence, poor self-image, and the need for revenge. The hatred that Alex bears towards his relative, James Chapman, becomes the driving force of his life and works it out in a sinister plot to do him out of a large lottery winning. Even with all his formal religious training as a priest, Alex will still succumb to the forces of evil because he has conveniently learned to use it as a means of making things supposedly better in his life, and his friends and relatives know it. His newly acquired grasp of Aristotelian morals is no match for the wiliness and greed of the malevolent Leo. Besides presenting some interesting moral dilemmas in this novel, Richards provides a very colorful description of Arcadian culture that portrays the region as somewhat rustic, impoverished, backward, and quite isolated from the normal world of circumstantial ethics. But that innocence will change very quickly as the sophisticate Alex hatches his artful plans. "Lost Highway" is a story that certainly has as much to say about the complexities of culture as it does about he distortions of human behaviour under the worst of circumstances.
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Format: Paperback
I count DAR's Mercy Among the Children as one of my top reads ever, so it's with grief I report just how excruciatingly heavy-handed and boring this novel is. While I appreciate the careful development of character, the meandering plot and page-by-page obsessing by Alex Chapman over his goodness versus every damn evil in the world was just TOO. MUCH. You might have to take a Xanax to get through this steaming heap.

Anyway, not good. Skip it. Do something worthwhile with your time, like reading Mercy Among the Children. Or playing the lotto.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Coach C TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 21 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Irving on Feb. 4 2009
Format: Paperback
I could not "get into" this book. I found it sort of rambling--this is the best way I can describe it. Nonetheless, my husband thinks it is a great story.The Lost Highway
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Margot Rosenberg on Feb. 15 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a very unpleasant story with no likable characters, including the central figure. The writing is very poor. There are many places where examples should be given with some kind of action or dialogue but are not-descriptions go on and on.
In the Acknowledgements at the back the author David Adams Richards thanks his editors: Maya Mavjee and Martha Leonard. Thanks them for what! The writing is very poor, sentence structure needs much improvement, there is a vast overuse of commas and there are several grammatical mistakes. On page 64 (hard copy) for instance, he says "laying in bed" when it should be lying. On pg 96 it is "he gathered at" One person doesn't gather at, he joins a gathering. There are many more of these errors.
I would think that Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd. would take more care about the products it turns out.
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