Review of Lowboy by John Wray

LowboyLowboy by John Wray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A real time look into schizophrenia, Lowbow neither romanticizes nor demonizes the disease or its sufferer. Will Heller is a 16-year-old paranoid schizophrenic wandering the New York subway system on a mission to save the world. His mother Violet and detective Ali Lateef tail him around the city, under and above ground trying to bring him home.

Wray uses his multiple points-of-view brilliantly, eking out information as the story develops, giving us this lovely slow reveal of the situation as characters let things slip, bit by bit. His range of voices is impressive and the language goes from tense to lyrical without trying too hard.

Mental illness is one of those topics that can result in a story that’s tired, weak or maudlin, but Wray treats his characters right and avoids the obvious pitfalls. Against my better judgment I sympathized with Will and the other troubled, beautiful people in the book.

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