Good evening everyone! I hope your November has been off to a great start.
How have your reading travels been so far?
I recently finished November Road by Lou Berney; it's a historical crime fictional work that was excellently researched where the author was able to convey an atmospheric thriller that suits the modern age while transporting us to the 1960's. I really enjoyed reading Berney's portrayal of America's corporate and political ecosystem through the observations of Berney's protagonists, Frank and Charlotte. This is the first work I've read by Berney and I was struck by the texture of his writing. By this I mean to say that the author layered November Road with lush descriptions that were able to capture America's 1960's culture while simultaneously incorporating subtle social commentary that very much prevails to our contemporary age.
Follow the scars of American history and take a journey down November Road.
About the Book
by Lou Berney
Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks;
Reprint edition (October 22, 2019)
“When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can’t put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional.”
–Stephen King, New York Times bestselling author
Named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly • Washington Post • AARP • Newsweek • Dallas Morning News • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • Crime Reads
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.
Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.
A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.
Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.
For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.
Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.
Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.
Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.
About the Author
Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.