[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Harper Perennial
Formats: Paperback, eBook, Kindle, Audiobook, Audible
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]
The Free by Willy Vlautin takes on working class Americans who keep plowing through their lives, hoping to hold onto the little they have and to earn a better future for themselves and their loved ones. Leroy Kervin, an Iraq veteran suffering several years from brain trauma, seizes a moment of clarity, attempts suicide and lapses into a science-fiction alternate history dream world. Freddie McCall cannot make ends meet, despite working two full time jobs, and knows he needs to find a more sustainable solution before he loses everything. While nursing a teen runaway with an abscessed leg at the hospital where she works, Pauline Hawkins recognizes her past self in this girl and the fate she may have succumbed to had she too run away, and Pauline determines to do everything in her power to save her.
With the down and out American characters of Hubert Selby, Jr. and the unsentimental, sparse prose of Raymond Carver, Vlautin consistently draws empathetic, unforgettable narratives of people that society in general has little compassion for and tries to forget about.
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