For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman penitentiary. His sentence now up, Russell believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns ...more
You see, McComb, Mississippi is my hometown...and it is the setting of this story. My family has a very long hi ...more
Does everyone deserve a second chance? Can we ever free ourselves from the yoke of the wrongs we've done, or are we destined to pay for them forever? Is hope something all should feel entitled to, or should we just accept that hope is a luxury not everyone can afford? These are just a few of the questions Michael Farris Smith addresses in his bleak, brilliant new novel, Desperation Road .
Russell Gaines has just gotten out of prison after 11 years. He has sp ...more
“Trouble been doggin' my soul since the day I was born”
- Ray LeMontagne
With the perfect ebb and flow of tension throughout this perfectly paced novel, Michael Farris Smith has drawn an incredible cast of characters who come together to create the perfect storm – a disturbance of the atmosphere between these characters and these pages.
McComb, Mississippi is the setting for this story, which opens with the return of one of McComb’s native sons returning home. McComb is one of ...more
Get ready for a blast-off beginning when you meet Maben and little Annabel struggling with heat and hunger as they walk the highway back to Mississippi, as they meet up with danger and as they live with disappointment after disappointment.
In DESPERATION ROAD, Bourbon, Coke and Guns are the norm and ex-con Russell Gaines takes no exception to the rule. After eleven long tortuous years in prison, Russell receives a shocking welcome...more
"How can you imagine the complexities of what might come?"
Russell Gaines knows only too well of the deep, festering, jaggedness that calls itself life. It enters at dawn and snakes its way in and out until the moon finally snuffs it out in one ragged breath.
Russell has spent the last eleven years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary for silencing the lif ...more
What a fantastic book! What a great author!
In one review that I read, it said "you feel like your living it instead of reading it"...so true!
Oh, Russell.. what a great character, I worried about you through this entire book!!
I want to read all this author's works now, if there are any!
Beautifully written, you can’t help but be drawn in by the vivid detail given to each character.
Russell is an ex-con, just released from a Mississippi penitentiary after 11 long years. Maben and her daughter Annalee are running from nowhere on their way to anywhere better than the past they left behind.
Multiple tragic events that initially appear to be independent of one another, all heading for the inevitable collision-course. No one is com ...more
UPDATE...June, 2018...Looks like movie rights have been picked up.
Original review: These characters are shades of people you and I know - those who have made awful mistakes in their past but are trying now to pull themselves out of the sucking mud of failure. As in Michael Farris Smith's outstanding debut Rivers set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the moist, jungly atmosphere of the deep south again wraps around the reader like vines of kud ...more
I won't even mention the characters or the story itself!!!
THIS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR!!!!!!
"Lions, and Tigers, and Bears......OH MY".....
You won't meet any wild animals. Nor will you need any help finding your way back home following the Yellow Brick Road....
"Desperation Road" takes place in a small town: McComb, (Pike County), in the state of Mississippi. McComb is about 80 miles south of Jackson and was founded in 1872 after Henry Simpson McComb of the N ...more
That passage sets the tone of this book. I know
― Zadie Smith, White Teeth.
Russell Gaines is back home after spending 11 years in Parchman Penitentiary, and he believes he's paid his debt to society - he just wants to get on with his life. Others don't agree with him. Revenge has a long memory, and for those who live with it, it's an all consuming beast that has to be acknowledged. The small Southern town of McComb, Mississippi, with its explosive mix of bourbon, guns ...more
Russell Gaines has just been released from jail after serving 11 years. We aren't told of his crime in the early stages of the story, but rather the 24 hours that follow his release. From being beaten as soon as he walked off the bus, to getting drunk and getting laid and redoing it a few times over for a few days until a woman enters into his life with her child. She is on her own pli ...more
Michael Farris Smith’s “Desperation Road” is a powerful yet desolate tale of a hard-fought life and the consequences of it.
At the onset of this novel, Russell and Maben are strangers on a collision course. Their characters are flawed, yet human. You want to know every ounce of their pain even though reading each word reverberates throughout your soul.
Russell Gaines is now a free man living in McComb, Mississippi. He was incarcerated for 11 years. Though technically he paid for his crim ...more
Two hard-luck cases collide in this smooth-flowing novel of the Deep South, where a Mississippi town harbors a long-brewing hunger for vengeance and a slim chance of redemption.
Maben and Russell are heading to McComb from different directions, geographically and otherwise. She has been on the road for too many years after a terrible car accident and has tried almost everything to make a life somewhere for herself and her young daughter. Russell has been serving 11 yea ...more
Despair: the complete loss or absence of hope.
In the Southern Mississippi swamp you can watch the world awaken as the pale yellow sun edges itself between the trees and moss and widewinged cranes. Dragonflies buzz and racoons come out of their dens and crawl along fallen trees. Turtles situate themselves onto stumps that will later become sunsoaked and hidden things slide beneath black water with murderous patience and skill. Limbs too old to hold themselves up any longer bend and break l ...more
There are many things I loved about Desperation Road, but what stands out to me the most is Farris Smith’s ability to bring McComb, Mississippi to life. His vivid description of McComb, coupled with the social dynamics that encompass the town, capture the essence of the South with a raw, unfaltering honesty.
When Russell Gaines, freed from prison after serving 11 years, returns home to McComb, he is struggling to merge his past with the present, having to adjus ...more
5★ with 5 ❣❣❣❣❣ exclamatory bonus points
Boyd is sitting in his cruiser “trying hard to understand a God that would allow the weakness of innocence and the strength of evil.”
Have you raced through a book with your heart in your throat because you can’t wait for the end—only to arrive at those fina ...more
A man is released from prison after serving eleven years for manslaughter. A young mother with her small daughter in tow wearily makes her way toward a women's shelter after a terrible ordeal. Two men filled with rage and blood in their eyes seek retribution for the death of their brother. These lives and others are destined to collide in a small town in the Mississippi Delta.
What this author can do with his character creation is pure gold. ...more
Ready, set, camera, action! And I mean it! The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like I was looking through the lens of a camera, scoping out the place. Slowly panning from one end of the scene to the other, panorama style. It was a fantastic feeling and a fantastic visual.
It’s like a magic trick, really it is. The author loads my eyeballs with images at the exact same time that he’s loading my brain with words that tell a story, and ta da, suddenly I’m watching an exciting movie! I ...more
I'm not even sure how to write this review because I really can't put into words or describe what a spiritual and beautiful novel this really is.
Michael Farris is a very very talented writer. Right off the bat, you are taken into the life of our character Maben and her daughter Annalee... walking on the side of the road in the heat starving and homeless. Maben manages to scrounge her last few dollars staying at motel with her daughter and man her night ends ...more
Desperation Road tells the story of two main people - Russell and Maben. Russell has just been released from prison after serving time for a crime he committed 1 ...more
|Chicks On Lit: Discussion thread for "Desperation Road", spring 2018 Group read||35||41||May 18, 2018 08:29AM|
|On the Southern L...: * Author Q&A: Michael Farris Smith, author ot Desperation Road||40||63||Apr 02, 2017 02:23PM|
|On the Southern L...: * Desperation Road, Initial Impressions, March, 2017||15||47||Mar 21, 2017 03:46PM|
|USA Geography Cha...: Desperation Road, by Michael Farris Smith||1||5||Feb 23, 2017 06:57AM|