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The Lincoln Highway  By  cover art

The Lincoln Highway

By: Amor Towles
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland, Dion Graham
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Publisher's summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

More than ONE MILLION copies sold

A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Bill Gates and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year

“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A classic that we will read for years to come.”—Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club

“Fantastic. Set in 1954, Towles uses the story of two brothers to show that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as we might hope.”—Bill Gates

“A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.”—NPR

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes. “Once again, I was wowed by Towles’s writing—especially because The Lincoln Highway is so different from A Gentleman in Moscow in terms of setting, plot, and themes. Towles is not a one-trick pony. Like all the best storytellers, he has range. He takes inspiration from famous hero’s journeys, including The Iliad, The Odyssey, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, and Of Mice and Men. He seems to be saying that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as an interstate highway. But, he suggests, when something (or someone) tries to steer us off course, it is possible to take the wheel.”–Bill Gates

©2021 Amor Towles (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“[A] mischievous, wise and wildly entertaining novel . . . Towles goes all in on the kind of episodic, exuberant narrative haywire found in myth or Homeric epic . . . Each [character], Towles implies, is the central protagonist of an ongoing adventure that is both unique and universal . . . remarkably buoyant . . . permeated with light, wit, youth . . . Towles has snipped off a minuscule strand of existence—10 wayward days—and when we look through his lens we see that this brief interstice teems with stories, grand as legends.”—Chris Batcheldor, New York Times Book Review

“Not only is it one of the most beautifully written books I have ever picked up, it’s a story about hope, friendship and companionship in a time when we need it so much . . . Towles brilliantly captures the inner reality of each [character] with profound and poetic prose. All eight of them are incredible forces in literature . . . Amor Towles is one of those authors that I think will become a Steinbeck of our generation and [...] I think The Lincoln Highway will be a classic that we will read for years to come.”—Jenna Bush Hager, Read With Jenna book club

“Once again, I was wowed by Towles’s writing—especially because The Lincoln Highway is so different from A Gentleman in Moscow in terms of setting, plot, and themes. Towles is not a one-trick pony. Like all the best storytellers, he has range. He takes inspiration from famous hero’s journeys, including The Iliad, The Odyssey, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, and Of Mice and Men. He seems to be saying that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as an interstate highway. But, he suggests, when something (or someone) tries to steer us off course, it is possible to take the wheel.”—Bill Gates

Editor's Pick

You'll want to take this one on the road
I'm a huge fan of Amor Towles, so a new release from him is always an unexpected pleasure. I say ''unexpected'' not because I'm surprised it's good, but because everything he writes is entirely unique. His debut followed a year in the life of a young woman in New York City, and his second novel explored the entire adult life of a Russian count on house arrest. With his third, Towles branches out into multi-perspective with an Americana-soaked work of historical fiction that is both an ode to the Homeric epics and a buddy-road-trip narrative that's been flipped on its head. The shifting vantage points and propulsive motion of the story make for a rich listening experience, with a world beating multi-cast. Clever, moving, at times tragic, and always, always insightful, The Lincoln Highway is a joy of a listen. —Emily C., Audible Editor