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The Free

Willy Vlautin

A beautiful and bittersweet new novel from the author of Lean on Pete and The Motel Life

5 in stock

Date Published
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Severely wounded in the Iraq war, Leroy has lived a half-life in a group home for eight years. Unable to bear it any longer, he commits a desperate act which helps him to disappear to another place. Freddie is the night porter at the home, who works two jobs yet can’t make ends meet. Buried in debt from his younger daughter’s medical bills, he’s forced to consider a criminal proposition. Pauline is the nurse who tends Leroy, who lives her life in an uncomplicated way, emotionally removed, until she meets a young runaway. An extraordinary portrait of contemporary America, and a testament to the resilience of the human heart, The Free is Willy Vlautin’s most moving and affecting novel to date.

Critic Reviews

'I love Willy Vlautin's books.'

Donna Tartt
Critic Reviews

The beauty of The Free lies in Vlautin's unflinching, unsentimental writing; the characters here are wonderfully realised.

Kate Saunders, The Times
Critic Reviews

Vlautin's stripped-down prose is simple yet brutally effective ... It is brave, brilliant, skilled and heartfelt writing about what lies at the very core of humanity. Everyone should read it.

The Big Issue
Critic Reviews

Already on many 'book of the year' lists, Vlautin's fourth novel takes you deep ... [his] skill lies in making you root for all involved.

Critic Reviews

Beautiful and haunting ... whatever Vlautin breaks down in you, he builds back up. Walking away from The Free, I felt a renewed sense of humanity and hope ... In my estimation, no writer is doing more important work.

William Boyle, Los Angeles Review of Books
Critic Reviews

Vlautin's unadorned narrative is affecting; these unassuming characters bore into us in surprising ways.

New York Times

Willy Vlautin is the author of five novels, including The Motel Life; Lean on Pete, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and made into an acclaimed film by Andrew Haigh; and Don’t Skip Out on Me, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Vlautin lives outside of Portland, Oregon, and is the founding member of the…

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