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The Road Taken

Extent: 288 pages

Size: 231x153mm

Publication Date:

Price: £18.99

ISBN: 9781843173311

Categories: Fiction

About the Book

The Road Taken is the narrative of the uncompromising and often dramatic life of Lew Holle, a complex, intriguing, and ultimately heroic character. As a young man he moves from his bleak, rural North American roots to the sun-baked terrain of southern Spain, and rom there to the haunting landscape of the Moroccan maghreb. Never in thrall to the opinions of others or to the tired conventions of a civilization with which he feels himself completely at odds, he becomes embroiled in drug-smuggling, peddling temporary dreams to jaded Western youth. A moment's inattention brings him into contact with the law; he serves time in an Italian jail, only narrowly escaping a long sentence. Returning to live in the remote forests of Western Canada, he chooses to take his own life rather than fall victim to disease. Beautifully written, sharply observed and extremely evocative of both the time and the places of Lew's existence, The Road Taken is an inspirational tale of unquenchable independence and self-sufficiency: the account of a man who, rather than settle for mediocrity, spends his life on his own terms, and in doing so touches the lives of many.

About the Author

Michael Foss was born in India in 1937 and educated in England and America. He has travelled widely and, after a spell as a lecturer at an American university, he settled in London and took up writing full time. His books include Out of India, The Road Taken, Looking for the Last Big Tree, Tudor Lives, The Founding of the Jesuits, Undreamed Shores, On Tour: The British Traveller in Europe, Poetry of the World Wars, Gods and Heroes: The Story of Greek Mythology, The World of Camelot, Celtic Myths and Legends and People of the First Crusade. He won the J. R. Ackerley prize for Out of India in 2002.


  • 'The Road Taken is a haunting and moving book . . . at once a gripping road novel, a completely convincing story of drug smuggling, and a pilgrimage. The nomadic Lew, whose foot barely dents the ground, is one of the most memorable characters I've come across in recent fiction. This story recalls the colourful exploits of Kerouac and Hemingway', Margaret Drabble
  • 'A novel that's been compared to Kerouac and Hemingway... an armchair - or deckchair - adventure indeed', The Big Issue
  • 'I most admired Michael Foss's adventurous The Road Taken... The plot follows an international road through drug smuggling, prison and individual isolation... it's a realistic rather than romantic story and very enjoyable', Michael Holroid, The Guardian