Ravaged
by Reedus, Norman; Bill, Frank (CON)






The highly anticipated debut novel from Norman Reedus, acclaimed star of The Walking Dead

"This country wasn't built on good-only fought for with good intentions."

Jack's dying mother told him, "Run and never look back." He spent his life amassing wealth, but after losing his family, he has no one to share it with. Alone with his demons and a backpack, he heads to South America, where people with nothing teach him what matters.

After thrashing his dog-abusing boss, Hunter learns of his father's death in a mysterious fire. Biker buddies Nugget and Itch ride with him from North Carolina to California. Stories from his father's life help ease the struggles of small-town Americans. Hunter discovers a secret past.

Seventeen-year-old Anne flees Tennessee after her older brother attacks her. She whacks him with a skillet and hops a freight to Alabama with her best friend. Living hand to mouth, they build friendships, uncovering something they never had: family.

The Ravaged is a fast-paced, up-in-your-face novel of gritty realism, exploring three different personal quests with eerily parallel outcomes.





Hunter is a military mechanic turned motorcycle gearhead who makes a cross-country trek seeking answers about his father's death. Teenager Anne has suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and one day decides to disappear, train-hopping her way to a family whose orbit doesn't revolve around alcohol. Jack, executive of a superstore chain, wasted his whole life chasing the wrong priorities and now neglects his family. This deeply atmospheric debut combines the separate narratives of these three individuals breaking free from their pasts. Alternating chapters lay bare the choices Hunter, Anne, and Jack have made-and the choices that have been made for them. Actor Reedus, known for portraying a zombie hunter in The Walking Dead, with coauthor Bill, anchors his debut with strong character development and emotionally driven plots that wind and connect back to each character's past trauma and self-development. He also conjures hot, twisting highways, cold steel railroad tracks, and the dry heat of the Atacama Desert, creating settings with such a strong sense of place that they become characters themselves. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





This debut novel from Walking Dead actor Reedus follows three thematically connected yet narratively unrelated people as they journey to find themselves. Hunter, a heavily tatted Iraq War vet and self-proclaimed gearhead, attacks his boss at the bike shop after catching him kicking a dog. "Hunter was old school," the narrator says, rough-hewn but with strong moral fiber and a heart of gold. After learning his father died in a "mysterious house fire" in California, Hunter hops on his Buell S1 motorcycle alongside his buddies Nugget and Itch for a cross-country haul to execute the will. Meanwhile, a wealthy 65-year-old executive named Jack is mugged while traveling aimlessly through South America, neither the first nor the last of his hardships. Jack abandoned his cushy, bloodless office lifestyle after his dying mother told him to "run and never look back," words he continuously labors to unpack. Finally, Anne, an abused teenage girl in Tennessee, steals her father's savings and .38 revolver and runs away from home, clobbering her brother upside the head with a cast-iron skillet when he tries to stop her. She connects with her friend Trot, and they join a community of train-hoppers. Co-written by Bill, the story reads like a pastiche of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Jack Kerouac's On the Road, the latter of which is name-dropped as "great" by multiple characters. Though occasionally hitting some beautiful imagery of the American heartland, Reedus falls victim to implausible dialogue-"Fabiola, you are reading me like a stock report," Jack says-and overcooked language: "flesh the color of a high-dollar medium-roast coffee bean." Frequently wordy summaries do little to develop the thinly sketched characters; we know nearly as much about them on Page 25 as on Page 250. A curious fetishization of outsiders, outlaws, and the down-and-out. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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