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D&R Book Club: The Last American Martyr

It has been a long time since we have discussed a good read and we are long overdue! The Last American Martyr by Tom Winton is a novella you won't be able to put down. Winton's approach to prose is clean and the development of plot and characters is as real as any life you've lived.  If you love character studies, psychological thrillers, and plot twists you won't see coming. This novel is one you have to pick up. 
(Don't read this post any further if you haven't read the novel: spoilers ahead for discussion.)

The story begins in a secluded town in Main where the people are few, close-knit, but lack any real personal attachments. The town is far from what many would deem regular and it sets the tone for the mysterious and peculiar to occur. We are introduced to the narrator for the beginning parts and end part of the novel, Jake Snow, the town mail-man. The novel is a frame narrative, or a story within a story.

It is through Jake Snow that we see our first glimpse of the main character and narrator for most of the novel, “Darius McClure”. These two worlds collide the day Jake Snow saves Darius McClure's life. Jake Snow soon figures out that Darius McClure is in fact a former Nobel Prize novelist, and that his real name is Tom Soles. If you're confused by what I just stated, don't worry it is very clear in the novel. 

The first 8 chapters move very quickly and instantly we were hooked! We learned that Tom Soles wrote a controversial novel titled, Enough is Enough. By the end of Chapter 3, Jake Snow’s character has agreed to read a different novel that Tom Soles has written about his life after the fame and fortune of winning the Novel Prize Winning novel. 

What follows is a story where Tom Soles’ life is turned upside down, immediately after returning home from receiving the Nobel Peace prize. His home is broken into, and slaughtered kittens are put in his fridge. His image is put on a website and targeted as America's number one suspect by radicals who hated his book. His wife, although it is never fully proven, is killed because of this.

What we liked about Tom Winton’s writing style was how he described the various characters Tom Sole’s met, and the pace in which the novel moved. We also liked that although the story had its low moments where Tom Soles hits rock bottom, he perseveres and gets his life back after living on the lam.

After reading this book what did you like best about Tom Winton's writing style? Have a comment, question, or want to discuss the novel? Please leave comments in the comment section below! We would love to chat. 

Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the fine review. I truly appreciate your kind words.


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