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Sugar Street

On sale

5th October 2023

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472151995

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‘An original and fascinating concept that’ll keep you hooked and turning the pages’ Sunday Post
‘Expertly done’ The Times
‘[A] compelling, original novel’ Independent

In Jonathan Dee’s explosive novel, an unnamed male narrator has hit the road with a large sum of cash stashed under his car seat. Vigilantly avoiding security cameras, he drives until he meets a city where his past is unlikely to track him down. Renting a room from a less-than-stable landlady whose need for money outweighs her desire to ask questions, he seems to have escaped his former self. But can he?

In a story that moves with swift dark humour and insight, Dee takes us through his narrator’s attempt to disavow his former life of privilege and enter a blameless new existence. Having opted out of his material possessions and human connections, the pillars of his new self – simplicity, kindness, and above all invisibility – grow shakier as he butts up against the daily lives of his neighbours in their politically divided working-class city.

Sugar Street is a risky, engrossing and visceral story about a white man trying to escape his own troubling footprint and start his life over.


A propulsive thriller
The Sunday Post
This one will keep you guessing . . . An original and fascinating concept that'll keep you hooked and turning the pages
Mail on Sunday
Pacy and disturbing
Dee's subtle skill lies in how seductive he makes all this strenuous rationalising on the narrator's part . . . Sugar Street's symbolism does just as much to keep you on edge, bringing us queasily close to a self-cancelling antihero who is simultaneously sent up and - you suspect - just a little bit admired
Financial Times
Dee's style is clean, raw, terse [and] perfectly paced. The voice conveys a yearning for something better against a bone-deep cynicism... You sure won't see the ending coming
Claire Looby, Irish Times
This is an elegant, spare and thoroughly engaging novel, with a narrator who goes from potential bad guy to potential victim... and a genuinely affecting questioning of whether it's possible to do the "right thing" without incurring judgment
The politics of the story become explicit, terrifyingly so, in its final pages... Sugar Street ends by packing a punch that the reader won't see coming
[A] compelling, original novel
Possessing the pace and plot surprises of a thriller, Dee's novel also manages to be a searing portrait of contemporary America
The Times
Sugar Street is expertly done, with a good balance of provocative thinking and surprising developments
Part of the power of Sugar Street lies in its style . . . in the prose you can feel the adrenaline of [the protagonist's] initial flight wearing off , his life shrinking down to a couple of city blocks . It's brilliantly done
George Sanders
I don't know when I've been as jolted and delighted by the ending of a novel as I recently was by the ending of Sugar Street, a deft punch of a novel by Jonathan Dee, that had the phrase "an American Dostoyevsky" running around in my head. Dee creates a true page-turner out of simple materials and the result is a troubling and stimulating look at real American life - at the fix that materialism plus the information state has got us into. It's also very funny