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Publisher's Summary

2020 LA Times Book Prize - Winner
2021 Anthony Awards - Nominee
2020 Amazon.com Best Books of the Year
2020 Library Journal Best Books of the Year
2020 NPR Best Book of the Year
2020 New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year
2020 LA Times Book Prize - Finalist

"Narrator Adam Lazarre-White's voice exudes confidence and depth; his performance is an example of how the best audiobooks deliver pure storytelling." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...and the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi. 

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hardworking dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: Known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast. He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. 

When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear. 

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying. 

Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books 

“Sensationally good - new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.” (Lee Child) 

"A fast-paced, fresh take on noir that tears through the underbelly of Virginia." (New York Times

Blacktop Wasteland is a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year with muscle and heart and characters who will linger long after the last page is read. S.A. Cosby writes with grit and grace. Do not miss this one.” (Michael Koryta, best-selling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead)

©2020 Shawn A. Cosby (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"Narrator Adam Lazarre-White's voice exudes confidence and depth; his performance is an example of how the best audiobooks deliver pure storytelling." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

Featured Article: 12 Unpausable Can’t Miss Thriller Audiobooks

There is nothing like a great thriller to hook you in, grab your attention, and leave you hanging on every word. Thrillers are some of the most exciting audiobooks out there, and the power of a well-told suspenseful story is virtually unrivalled. From murder mysteries to psychological thrillers, action-packed plots, or intriguing characters, audiobooks in the thriller genre will keep listeners coming back for more. Here we’ve compiled a list of the most unpausable thrillers that will have listeners unable to stop.

What listeners say about Blacktop Wasteland

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Really worthwhile listen.

This one grabbed right from the start, and my interest never flagged. Though flawed, Beauregard tries hard to lead an honest life, be a decent husband, loving father, businessman. However, ia lapse of judgment and hard times, set him and his family on road to disaster. All the characters become so real, you can “see” them. It’s just a fully realized story, not just about cars, crime, hard choices. It’s also about love, caring among friends, family. I especially liked the ending, especially as I believed Beau would not survive last confrontation with Lazy crime boss. Just a great story about choices which determine who we are. Hope this author has a sequel coming soon.

2 people found this helpful

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What a ride!

man from the first pages of this book and the way the first scentece is written and described makes me feel like I was there. But be prepared once you start this baby there's no shutting down till there's no more pages to turn or minutes to burn. S.A. Cosby really wrote a classic here.

1 person found this helpful

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  • stuartjash
  • 2020-07-16

Fantastic All Around

I won't even write a narrator review, simply because Adam Lazare-White perfectly fit this role, and he was absolutely incredible!

I don't know if it's accurate to call BLACKTOP WASTELAND S.A. Cosby's a debut, but if so, this is one of the best debut novels I've ever read. I haven't enjoyed a new author like this since I read Jack Carr's THE TERMINAL LIST.

Beauregard "Bug" is an amazing character. He's not only incredibly dynamic, but it feels like you literally see the character develop right before your eyes. This book felt like a biography or memoir, and it was so real.

This novel kept the petal to the floor - figuratively and literally. I steered through this book in one day. It flew by just like the asphalt underneath Bug. This book has accelerated to then top of my 2020 Reading List as one of my favorites, and it will be one of those books I plan to revisit again and again. It was captivating and was a non-stop thrill ride. Okay, enough with the puns.

Fantastic novel! Highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers!

27 people found this helpful

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  • Dobbs
  • 2020-07-18

Decent crime novel

The story and characters are fine -- not fantastic but certainly not lacking. However, the writing is really strained. I was tired of the terrible similes about 5 minutes in (seriously, in the first few pages parts of the car are described as being like a cat, like an eagle, like a lion, like a dragon... etc.) and they never seem to end, seemingly minute after minute like waves breaking on the shore -- but they don't break, they just lap because none are dynamic -- they're either strained or they're flat; completely uninspired. I literally rolled my eyes at "like zealots..." in chapter 14.

That said, I do think the book is worth a listen and hope my review doesn't scare anyone away, but I really hope Cosby's editor has a thicker blue pencil next time around. One outstanding simile in a book is far better than 300 bad ones.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ted
  • 2021-01-29

Compelling Masterwork

I liked Joe Ide's first novel, IQ. Not so much the successors. Hard for me to believe, but I enjoyed Blacktop Wasteland even more. The books aren't derivative, yet their protagonists in motivation and talents are hauntingly similar. Don't know which came first. Don't care. Although I might have enjoyed IQ less had I read this S.A. Cosby book first.

Adam Lazarre-White's voice feels as compellingly authentic as Cosby's writing. They take me to a place and moment so dramatically... I felt like a witness.

Black Wasteland is a towering crime novel... more importantly it's a greater visit into a bicameral mind that's struggling to pull itself into one whole... struggling to join its understandably fractured pieces. It's also a visit into a culture which generates an ensemble that's simultaneously scary yet logical in its adherence to the rules of survival.

Here's a book that will stay with me written by a master.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-12-06

Excellent Read

Powerful all the way to the end. Hope this will be a series or at least a second book. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Beauregard's life.

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  • Brent
  • 2020-11-08

Needed this one

So glad to have come across this one, it really snapped me out of the doldrums

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  • up2me
  • 2020-12-19

Loved this book!

The narrator was excellent, the story was profound, the characters were fully realized and I simply loved this book! Listen! Now!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Lee
  • 2020-11-25

Phenomenal!

outstanding book! I couldn't put it down, couldn't stop listening to it. the characters are so real and visceral. cannot recommend this book highly enough!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole
  • 2020-12-14

Southern rural gangster noir

Action: Gritty, fast-paced, and completely absorbing.

Characters: Predictable, maybe a tad dull.

Prose style: Plenty of wry one-liners, like “He was about as useful as a white crayon,” and “The needle on the temperature gauge was so far in the red, it needed to file for bankruptcy.”
The style can be too on-the-nose: “Beauregard’s mind played him scenes from the past like a home movie spliced together from old 8-millimeter reels.” and “Moths danced around the yellow porch light. Drawn to their death by the same thing that fascinated them.”

6 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 2020-11-24

Gripping

Red clay, white lines, black hearts. Gripping story that races from the first page. The narrator and characters make this poverty-soaked story oh so rich.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Kessler
  • 2020-11-16

very well written, dynamic

Although not my typical subject matter i was rapt from the beginning and really cared about the characters
Terrific read.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Judith Dubois
  • 2021-07-14

Great action filled page turner.

Fantastic! And scary. Loved the characters. A vision of the South that is refreshingly different.