The King is Dead

The King is Dead

Jim Lewis

Pub date
Harper Perennial
B Format 129x198mm
272 pages
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Book Overview

A soulful, illuminating novel of love, murder and redemption, from a rising star on the American literary scene.

One hot, dark night in Memphis, Walter Selby finds himself wandering alone in the parking lot outside a baseball stadium, trying to find his friend. Instead he finds his future wife, Nicole, illuminated by the headlights of a passing car. In that empty car-lot, the perfect setting for an archetypal American romance, they begin a long, lovely fall – into bed, into marriage, into parenthood, into responsibility.

A generation later Walter’s son Frank, now a grown man himself, is also alone in Memphis, trying to find a trace of two parents who faded from view while he was still a child. His sister Gail is building a new family for herself on the other side of the continent, while his precious daughter Amy slips further from him with each passing year. Frank’s life seems to be racing away in a flurry of wrong decisions and lost moments, with nothing to show for it. And yet if Frank’s life is anywhere, it is in his family, in these men and women, their lives and their passing. This is their story.

About the author

jim lewis is one of the most praised US novelists of his generation. As well as his published fiction, he has done a considerable amount of art-related writing for exhibitions and catalogues, and has a film script in production with Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Films.


  • ‘“The King is Dead” is a marvelous book, and with it, Jim Lewis has come into full possession of a powerful literary voice.’Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Middlesex’
  • ‘Jim Lewis is a writer of the same heavyweight stature as Franzen and David Foster Wallace. A short review can barely do justice to the artfulness and deep intelligence of this novel. Above all, Jim Lewis persuades you that a single reading of his work is not enough.’ Andrew Biswell, Scotland on Sunday
  • ‘You find you have to force yourself to read more slowly, not wanting the experience to end.’ David Flusfeder, Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Similar to Richard Ford or Jonathan Franzen, with whom Lewis stands comparison…The result is a fine book, finely written.’ Daily Mail
  • ‘A deceptively simple story – the best always are…sad, illuminating, songful and shivering with life.’ Time Out
  • ‘Jim Lewis is an accomplished and erudite writer who wears these qualities lightly…A rare talent.’ The Times