Devastation Road

Jason Hewitt. Little, Brown, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-31635-4
Hewitt’s profoundly moving thriller, his second novel after 2015’s The Dynamite Room, charts the harrowing journey of Owen, a British flight engineer suffering from amnesia, across war-torn Europe during the last days of WWII. Owen must somehow get from rural Czechoslovakia back home to England, all the while trying to remember exactly who he is. As he slowly pieces together the disjointed memories of his past, Czech teenager Janek Sokol and a Polish woman with a newborn baby join him in attempting to maneuver through a nightmarish landscape of mass death and destruction. Comparable to Kosinki’s The Painted Bird in both theme and gruesome imagery, Hewitt’s travelogue fluctuates between clarity and confusion, keeping the reader in a continual state of uncertainty. Sublime imagery (“Thin-framed dragonflies motored about like silent biplanes”) is a plus. Readers will undoubtedly feel a sense of overwhelming sorrow by the end. But that very well may be the point. Agent: Will Francis, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 07/03/2017
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4711-2744-1
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-4711-2746-5
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-316-31637-8
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