book cover of Desperation Road
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Desperation Road

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Dagger Awards Best Book (nominee)
Longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2017

In the vein of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the works of Ron Rash, a novel set in a rough-and-tumble Mississippi town where drugs, whiskey, guns, and the desire for revenge violently intersect

For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sat in Parchman penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His time now up, and believing his debt paid, he returns home only to discover that revenge lives and breathes all around.

On the day of his release, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a motel room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled across the road in the glow of his own headlights.

With dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save - his own or that of the woman and child?

'Flickers with poetic splendour... Repetitions, the falling cadences of country music, phrases strung together in long passages of sustained beauty: it's rare for desperation to be rendered with such intensity' - Spectator

'Smith depicts a steamy American South redolent of lawless menace in sparse, simple, lyrical prose. He has produced a taut thriller that lays bare the legacy that violence leaves behind it, as it builds relentlessly to a dramatic climax. You will not be disappointed' - Daily Mail

'Cinema written all over it... A particularly good novel if you like whispering 'Sh*t...' in an incredulous voice' - Shortlist

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Every once in a while an author comes along who's in love with art and the written language and image, William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx. You can add Michael Farris Smith s name to the list." - James Lee Burke

"Michael Farris Smith is a prodigiously talented writer whose new book is not only an exciting read but an important literary event." - Robert Olen Butler

"A novel that lends dignity and grace to those too often damned, DESPERATION ROAD is fearless, guttural, and thunderously heartfelt. Quite simply one of our finest writers at work today, Michael Farris Smith has made his own place at the table." - David Joy

"Michael Farris Smith taps into the rhythm of a world I know, and he does it so well, with such ease, that it's almost like I'm living it instead of reading it." - Jamie Kornegay

"Anchored by prose that is both poetic and brutal, Desperation Road is a gorgeous and violent book." - Ivy Pochoda

"An outstanding performance." - Ron Rash


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Used availability for Michael Farris Smith's Desperation Road

Hardback Editions

February 2017 : UK Hardback
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 1-84344-987-0 / 978-1-84344-987-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: No Exit Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 0-316-35303-5 / 978-0-316-35303-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

November 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 1-84344-991-9 / 978-1-84344-991-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: No Exit Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 0-316-35304-3 / 978-0-316-35304-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 1-84344-986-2 / 978-1-84344-986-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: No Exit Press
Availability: Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

February 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


February 2017 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon AU   


February 2017 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


February 2017 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 1-4789-4584-2 / 978-1-4789-4584-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2017 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Desperation Road Lib/E
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
ISBN: 1-4789-4581-8 / 978-1-4789-4581-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Availability: Amazon   


February 2017 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2017 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Desperation Road: A compelling literary crime novel
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: No Exit Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


February 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Desperation Road
Author(s): Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA