Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this exhilarating imagination of his life before The Great Gatsby


Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby's world, he was at the centre of a very different story - one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.


Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance - doomed from the very beginning - to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.


An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.



'Eminently readable' - Times

'No shortage of excitement' - Mail on Sunday

'Smith is a well-respected writer with a gift for creating atmosphere' - Telegraph

'An accomplished writer of Southern gothic fiction' - Sunday Times

'Gripping... the novel rings fiercely true' - Financial Times

'Vividly imagined and suffused with pulsing narrative energy and an assured, atmospheric sense of period setting and speech' - Irish Times

'An admirable book: atmospheric, haunting, rich in detail and incident' - Literary Review