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The Lost Highway by David Adams Richards
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Jul 18, 2008

it was ok
Read in July, 2008

** spoiler alert ** On bad days, I know that I'm a character in a David Adams Richards novel: arrogant, insecure, and utterly ineffective. His books are nothing if not inspiration to finish a project or two, fulfill a promise, send out a birthday gift on time rather than six months too late.

Is it Crime & Punishment or is it Hamlet? Alex, the disgraced adopted nephew of the tyrannical business baron in this corner of Northern New Brunswick (a failed academic and a priest too pathetic even to be defrocked) discovers that his uncle has won a $13,000,000 jackpot, and decides that his uncle must never see that money. With $13,000,000, finally, Alex imagines himself realizing his dreams, becoming a true humanitarian, respected by English, French, and Native alike. Leo, a poor French labourer, who bullied Alex on the schoolbus as a child, but later tried to emulate him, discovers Alex's plan and blackmails him into a share. They need to claim the money without anyone knowing they've stolen the ticket. This is when innocent people die.

The book, it rambles. From the introduction of this ticket plot to two hundred pages laying out Alex's failure as a priest and his disgrace as an academic, back into the ticket plot, and oh yeah, there's romance, too. Four hundred pages of inaction, and ultimately inaction saves the day. Thank goodness there's David Adams Richards to remind us that whether educated or not, whether striving, or merely struggling to get by, there is so little hope, that any success is a miracle.
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