by John Wray
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Will Heller is a sixteen-year-old paranoid schizophrenic experiencing a mental break. During the course of a day, Will, nicknamed Lowboy, moves through the underground sprawl of Manhattan’s subways, occasionally surfacing. As he likewise dips into and out of psychosis, he reasons, through the screaming overload of his thoughts, that losing his virginity will “cool the world,” saving it from the destruction of climate change, for “the world’s inside of me . . . just like I am inside the world.” Through the logic of his crushing illness, Will is trying to save himself.
Lowboy, John Wray’s third novel, is, as some have described it, a tweaked bildungsroman, but it is also an apocalyptic tale positioned along the narrow seam between illness and health. Will believes a tale heard in childhood: that a mythological
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