The Free by Willy Vlautin - review by Jonathan McAloon

Jonathan McAloon

Aftershocks

The Free

By

Faber & Faber 277pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

The Free, Willy Vlautin’s fourth novel, begins with a failed suicide attempt. Leroy Kervin, an Iraq veteran whose mind was ‘caved in by war’ seven years ago, suddenly regains mental clarity and opts for a permanent way out. He is discovered by Freddie, the night watchman at his care home, and subsequently looked after in hospital by a nurse called Pauline. 

The novel follows these three characters in their separate lonelinesses around the state of Washington. Freddie works two jobs, between which he has a couple of hours to sleep and call his estranged daughters, who can think of little to say to him. In order to keep his house and

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter