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3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,579 ratings  ·  483 reviews
Will Heller, también conocido como Lowboy, tiene dieciséis años y se mueve por el metro de Nueva York como un hermoso minotauro en su laberinto. Pero Lowboy también es un esquizofrénico paranoico. Y una mañana, el chico, que ha dejado de tomar sus medicinas, se fuga del psiquiátrico, y vuelve al mundo para salvarlo. Porque Lowboy está convencido de que la tierra está siend ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 2009 by Editorial Anagrama (first published January 1st 2009)
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Let me preface this review with this; I am in a rut. A literary rut, a professional rut, a metaphysical rut, a rut rut. Damn, I love the onomatopoeia that goes with that word… try it: grind your teeth together and spit the word out, let your tongue hit the back of your teeth with a little *pfft*. Yeah, you got it.

So, it was with a heavy sigh that I picked up this book. I can’t fully blame the book for this ‘meh’ of a rating. Not really. I wish I had something to blame.

Wray’s writing has been d
Apr 27, 2009 Pinky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pinky by: Jeff! -- and Tami. Their reviews made me scurry off to the libr
Did you know "lowboy" was the original name for "oboe?"

I learned so much from this book.
(FROM MY BLOG): Walk along a street in downtown Seattle. You see them everywhere. Wild-eyed men and women. Dirty, dishevelled, mumbling to themselves or yelling at the universe. Crazy people, more like scary forces of nature than human beings. Beings we nervously evade as we see them approach.

Except, of course, they aren't non-human. John Wray's novel Lowboy shows us how much humanity schizophrenics do share with the rest of us --a story being perhaps the only way we are ever apt to experience t
I don't know what to say! This novel is truly a tour de force, a tense and suspenseful day in the life of a beautifully blonde, sixteen-year-old boy who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. I know the comparison is cliche, but imagine a Holden Caulfield-like figure off his meds having escaped the mental institution in which he's been placed while searching the streets of New York City to lose his virginity in order to save the world from global warming. John Wray burrows deep into the manically ...more
The immortal poet Chastity (in 10 Things I Hate about You) once said, "I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?" I did not think so, until now.

Lowboy is a short, meandering book about Will Heller, a paranoid schizophrenic wandering around New York City, and also--in alternating chapters--about his mother and the police detective who have teamed up to search for him. Will is on a strange, vague mission to cool down the earth before global warm
There is this moment in John Wray's "Lowboy" where a character says to the schizophrenic hero: "Listen to me, Heller. You're beautiful and you make me laugh and I want you to take me to that place that we just saw, but you need to stop saying things like that. They creep me out, okay? And you're not creepy."

And that completely sums up the experience of reading this novel, which spans roughly a day in the life of young teenager Will "Lowboy" Heller.

The story opens with him on the lam in the New
May 21, 2009 Jessica marked it as aborted-efforts  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone except me, they all love it
It's always hard for me to read fiction about topics I know too much about, though I'm not so sure why. Is it because I'm irrationally, childishly possessive of my knowledge, or is it more respectable, like the research and inaccuracies are more obvious then? I don't know. Everyone else loves this book, though, so I have to think my familiarity with schizophrenia was a distraction that kept me emotionally distant from what was probably a very well-written book. Similarly, being familiar with the ...more
Lowboy è un libro sulla malattia mentale e sulla solitudine dell'uomo metropolitano. Dall'inizio alla fine si evince come ciascuno viva in un suo mondo, in una propria realtà intrisa di percezioni e presupposti svincolati da una realtà condivisa.
In pratica, l'assunto è che ciascuno a modo suo, sia uno schizofrenico con una propria realtà e che quindi sia questa la ragione della solitudine dell'uomo contemporaneo.
L'idea poteva essere interessante, ma sinceramente la traduzione è piena di errori
Michael Shilling
Huh, so I went back and looked at Lowboy again, and I still think it's quite good, but this time around it feels a great deal thinner of character and has a number of unexplored / unearned conveniences, especially concerning the treatment the mother's illness. Still, it knocked me back hard and brought tears to my eyes.

Emotionally devastating, structurally perfect, and full of amazing sentences. Wray creates a consistent internal logic to Lowboy's schizophrenia -- which, considering the inheren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I not sure what I think of this book. I finished it, which is why it gets at least three stars. The writing was pretty amazing - good enough to get four stars. The characters were well developed literary characters, the allegories were there. This book had everything necessary to make it a "great book." Maybe that was the problem - it was technically almost perfect but had little beyond that - there wasn't a lot of heart or emotional vulnerability. I spent half the time reading it imaging Wray w ...more
Check out my review of Lowboy for the folks over at The Rumpus.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Sanders
I really don't understand what the hype is over this book. That's all I can say. I read it, didn't love it or hate was just sort of there. The story wasn't overly interesting, the characters weren't overly interesting, I never felt invested in them, and the writing was fine but not mind-blowing. So again, what exactly are people going crazy over with this book? Either I'm missing something or people are just getting caught up in the hype of well-mangaged publicity. Sorry, I wanted to lov ...more
DNF. Pretentious and annoying. Disjointed and does not add a thing to the understanding of mental illness in teens. Couldn't care less about the characters.
Stunning. Haunting. Brutal. Just a few of the adjectives I'd use to describe this tour de force from John Wray. A portrayal of schizophrenia that is compelling without being diagnostic, forced, condescending, or trapped in any of the other pitfalls that often nullify novels about mental illness. It is at once a story of a coming-of-age, of young love, of parenthood, and of loss, not to mention a near-perfect portrait of New York City. The pacing is immaculate. The writing is at times blindingly ...more
Anita Dalton
A couple of people whose opinions I really respect recommended Lowboy to me, saying it was in a similar vein to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I think that one really has to be a fan of the recent trend to write in a flat, unemotional, almost neurasthenic manner in order to like this book. I am not a fan of it. This book's tone reminded me a lot of Steve Rasnic Tem's Deadfall Hotel. Both books deal with extraordinary situations involving deep emotion yet felt very similar to ...more

I expected more from this novel, though it is hard to say precisely what I had hoped for. Early reviews were near raves, and I can objectively see why: There is much to admire in the prose. It is controlled and appropriately claustrophobic and smart. Wray is intent on getting us inside the head of a paranoid schizophrenic, and I suppose he succeeds, as far as that goes.

But I found myself thinking "So what?" throughout much of this. I suppose I wanted some grander context-setting, s
I read a review of this book in The New Yorker and was intrigued by a story told through the eyes of a paranoid schizophrenic teenage boy. The review had a few good things to say about the book, and I’m generally very fascinated by schizophrenia. But if you want to get a feeling for what goes on in the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic, I’m not sure this book does it – maybe because schizophrenia is such a complicated “disease.” (I remember reading an article by some fringe psychoanalyst who was ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Oriana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Oriana by: amanda + a bunch of others
post: Holy shit this was incredible. Disassociating, frustrating, unbelievably intense. Plus it's extremely New York–centric, which I always adore; it just never gets old for me when the characters are standing on a corner I've stood on, I know it's insular and probably obnoxious to non-NY-ers, but I don't care, I love it I love it.

I've got a lot more to say about this book – including lines I want to quote and plot points I'd like to analyze – but I loved it so much that I loaned it out immedia
Jun 05, 2009 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Jamie Dugger
Shelves: good-covers
Oh, Will. You will stay with me for a long time.

Our eponymous protagonist, William Heller, steps onto an uptown B train one November 11 morning to begin a quest his paranoid schizophrenic brain has convinced him he must complete, or the world will end. The world is too hot, and he's too hot, and he has to find someone to help him cool down. His mother, Violet, and a detective, Lateef, try to catch up with him before he is lost to his own misfiring brain. As Will's journey advances and he moves u
Astonishingly good; the best novel of the year so far for me. William ("Lowboy"), a teen schizophrenic is on the loose in the NYC subway system pursued by his mom and a cop, who are fearful he might do something violent. William's interior voices (or voices) seem completely believable to me (although what do I know about schizophrenia really). The threat of sudden violence (how? to whom?) keeps the story tense as a electrified wire. The other characters - Violet (his mom), Lateef (the cop), and ...more
This is a good look into paranoid schizophrenia, without being too much of a lesson on the illness (comparable, in a way, to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time). The city of New York was one of the main characters, especially the subway lines, which was done well without being over-the-top in detail.

Lowboy/Will's characterization pulled me in from the beginning. I don't think that the author was quite as successful with Violet's character, as I found myself skimming her sections
Mike Lindgren
John Wray's dizzyingly seductive "Lowboy" is a tale told by a schizophrenic teenager. (Farrar Straus Giroux, $25). Wray's protagonist is on the lam from a mental institution, loose among the commuters and winos and rolling thunder of the Manhattan subway. Making your central character deeply insane is, of course, a risky and ambitious trick, but Wray carries it off with a fluid, inventive style that rises at times to a frightening pitch. Lowboy is an amplified hero for our times; despite his vio ...more
A fine and troubling work. Takes place over the course of one day in NYC. Narrator is schizophrenic on the lam in the subway system trying to save the world from global warming by losing his virginity. Wray is the king of the simile, unusual and poetic comparisons abound. Touching and disturbing! Highly recommended.
Esteban del Mal
Not quite the "light" summer reading I had envisioned for myself, but an excellent novel. The author does a great job of portraying the world as a paranoid schizophrenic would see it (yet, how could anyone know?) -- disjointed, overwhelming and unknowable.
Dan Pope
LOWBOY is a brilliant novel, nearly impossible to put down. Wray takes you inside the head of a young paranoid schizophrenic, who's stopped taking his meds. An amazing job of capturing that delusional perspective.
Nejdivnější skvělá kniha, co si zaslouží mnohem víc písmen v hodnocení, která tímto svatosvatě slibuju, stay tuned :)

Amazing portrait of a schizophrenic mind.
Best book I've read this year.
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John Wray is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, Lowboy, The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan's Tongue. He was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Award, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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