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Sugar Street

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472151995

Price: £9.99

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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.


This one will keep you guessing . . . An original and fascinating concept that'll keep you hooked and turning the pages
The Sunday Post
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
George Sanders
Possessing the pace and plot surprises of a thriller, Dee's novel also manages to be a searing portrait of contemporary America
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
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
Pacy and disturbing
Mail on Sunday
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
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
Financial Times
Sugar Street is expertly done, with a good balance of provocative thinking and surprising developments
The 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
Claire Looby, Irish Times
A propulsive thriller
[A] compelling, original novel