By Stephen Wright
(Vintage Contemporaries, Paperback, 9781400079421, 305pp.)
Publication Date: April 12, 2005
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Going Native is Stephen Wright’s darkly comic take on the road novel, in which one man’s headlong escape from the American Dream becomes everybody’s worst nightmare. Wylie Jones is set: lovely wife, beautiful kids, barbecues in the backyard of his tastefully decorated suburban Chicago house with good friends. Set, but not satisfied. So one night he just walks out, gets behind the wheel of a neighbor’s emerald-green Galaxy 500, and drives off into some other life, his name changed, his personality malleable. In Wright’s inimitable narrative, we’re taken on a joy ride to hell, a rollercoaster of sex and violence and the peculiar mix of the two that is our society today.