The Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles Book Summary


A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Quarterly and The Washington Post as a Best Book of the Year

“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A classic that we will read for years to come.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club
“A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.” – NPR

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles Book Reviews

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- Shocking ending5 star

The Lincoln Highway is one of the best books I’ve read! All the twists and turns kept me wanting to read more! I’ve never read any books by this author, but I’ll definitely read more of his books!

- Read it!5 star

Great storytelling with deep characters and interesting settings. Method of telling the tale was outstanding.

- Disappointed an awful follow up1 star

I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. This an awful follow up. I couldn’t care less about the characters. They all seem rather slow witted. And if another book I read has a precocious child in it…I guess Covid had something to do with that.

- Perfect Book5 star

Fantastic book by one of the greatest writers alive.

- A retelling of a classic myth5 star

The reader is left to figure out which classic and to enjoy the telling in all it's delightfulness. It is said the are really only a few plots with all stories and all literature being variants, retellings. Towels is telling us that by making professor Abernathy's book a main character. Reading this was rewarding and I suspect rereading will be even more rewarding, The characters all come to life for me. In my mind that is the Mark of a well written book. Each character follows the trajectory of their destination. The ending is fulfilling as the characters have followed their personal roads to their destiny. At first I think they don't all live happily ever after but then I realized they do.. Each characters ever after is his or her place in the story, in the tellers mind and the lenders imagination. The characters of the great myths come back to life in each retelling. They are a form living in our imagination waiting to be recalled.

- Don’t bother2 star

SLOW! Couldn’t get through it. Story could be told in half the length. Do not recommend.

- Disappointing3 star

Towles’ erudite and elegant writing style could not save this book. While the narrative seemed promising at the outset, it became repetitive and fragmented by the constant shifts in point of view. The character portraits were good, and their backgrounds somewhat interesting, but the main characters were odd and difficult to relate to; nor did they change or grow. I just couldn’t get into this book. The completely unsatisfying ending was the final deal breaker for me. The ending of the story was a return to the beginning – like the Odyssey that the book continuously references. It left numerous unanswered questions that I won’t mention so as not to be a spoiler. The book was unique, but otherwise not up to the high standards of Towles’ earlier works. I give it three stars. Although this book was disappointing I look forward to Towles’ next endeavor, for he truly is a gifted writer. — dipinto

- Excellent read5 star

Amazing character development. So we’ll written. I didn’t want it to end.

- The lincoln highway2 star

This book reminds me of a bad dream. The characters are always trying to get to California but things just keep prolonging their plans. The ending was very disappointing. Jankbar

- 2 for 33 star

The Lincoln Highway was long on miles, long on words and short on what had been the eloquence of masterful story telling in his first two wonderful novels.

- Eh2 star

Much less than I expected. Never vested in the characters, superficial view of NYC, episode upon episode cliffhanger style with no return on your investment of time. Some moving moments but all too rare. At the three quarter point it got boring. Good writing, poor storytelling. I’d say stay away.

- Three’s a charmer5 star

Towles’ style is an entertaining ride of a read. Each of his 3 books tells a unique story. Wishing his 4th book was out tomorrow!

- Long way from home2 star

The same circumstances, settings and happenings repeated thru the eyes of the 4 main characters over and over. The author is very proud of the learned Greek mythological characters as they are incorporated and used for comparison way too frequently. Funky ending - read it and wept for the money spent.

- One to Savor5 star

Took my time with one because I didn’t want to miss a thing. Characters and settings both developed with exquisite care. Wish it came with a study guide. Wonderful book.

- Adored Lincoln Highway5 star

Another genuine read overflowing with raw authenticity and pure honesty. Absolutely adored previous 2 novels and Lincoln Highway did not disappoint. Gratefully awaiting the next engaging Amor read with thanks.

- Sooo good!5 star

Best book I’ve read in a long time!! Love it!

- Beautiful5 star

Towles writes humans the way I want them to be. The way I want them to think and feel.

- A unique yarn5 star

A wonderfully suspenseful “escapade” full of life lessons and lovable characters. Amor Towles delivers again.

- Embrace the journey5 star

These characters take you on a magnificent journey. You will love each of them long before the last page. Where is the middle of your story?

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Norma&Zoey - Bravo!5 star

Another great book by Mr Towles

Karmikarmimi - Book of the year5 star

Engaging and masterful storytelling. Competes with A Gentleman in Moscow for favourite book read in the last decade.

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Amor Towles - The Lincoln Highway Comments

About Amor Towles Wiki

Amor Towles (born 1964) is an American novelist. He is best known for his bestselling novels Rules of Civility (2011) and A Gentleman in Moscow (2016), and The Lincoln Highway (2021). Early life and education Towles was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University, where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. When Towles was 10 years old, he threw a bottle with a message into the Atlantic Ocean. Several weeks later, he received a letter from Harrison Salisbury, who was then the managing editor of The New York Times. Towles and Salisbury corresponded for many years afterward. Career After graduating from Yale Univer...

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