Thought I’d go all literary on you – really looking forward to this new book from the Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin, highly recommend his previous books, The Motel Life, Northline and Lean on Pete too, bit late posting this but Willy is in Belfast tomorrow then London and Manchester on 30th and 31st.
Willy Vlautin’s stunning fourth novel opens with Leroy, a young, wounded, Iraq veteran, waking to a rare moment of clarity, his senses flooded with the beauty of remembering who he is but the pain of realising it won’t last. When his attempt to end his half-life fails, he is taken to the local hospital where he is looked after by a nurse called Pauline, and visited by Freddie, the night-watchman from his group home for disabled men.
As the stories of these wounded characters circle and cross each other, we come to learn more of their lives. The father who caused Pauline’s mother to abandon them both, and who Pauline loves and loathes in equal measure, the daughters with whom Freddie yearns to be reunited and, in a mysterious and frightening adventure story, the girlfriend Leroy dreams of protecting.
Evoking a world which is still trying to come to terms with the legacy of a forgotten war, populated by those who struggle to pay for basic health care, Vlautin also captures how it is the small acts of kindness which can make a difference between life and death, between imprisonment and liberty. Haunting and essential, The Free is an unforgettable read.
THE FREE UK and Ireland tour dates:
Jan 28 @ 6:30pm : The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin (Willy to be interviewed by Roddy Doyle)
Jan 29 @ 7:00pm : No Alibis @ Ulster Museum, Belfast (Willy to be interviewed by Glenn Patterson)
Jan 30 @ 7:00pm : Rough Trade East, London (Willy to be interviewed by Sarah Hall)
Jan 31 @ 7:00pm : Manchester Lit Festival, Anthony Burgess Foundation
More big news… Willy has started a new band called The Delines, featuring Amy Boone (The Damnations TX), Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists), RF’s own Sean Oldham, plus Freddy Trujillo and Tucker Jackson. A full length record titled COLFAX is slated for a spring release and tour. You won’t be hearing much of Willy’s voice on this one — he wrote the songs for Amy to sing. Stay tuned for more details and dates.Lastly, RF has a new record nearly completed. Word has it even the surly members of RF are excited about this one! More news on the release date and tour to come.