337 – M Jonathan Lee: book extract

One of the more intriguing books I’ve seen recently, M. Jonathan Lee’s 337 sounds fascinating.

337 is the story of a boy who woke one morning to find his mother had vanished leaving just her wedding ring and a note on the kitchen table. Now, twenty years later, he sits alongside his grandmother in her final week trying to get to the truth before the knowledge she holds about what really happened literally passes away. Lost forever.

And I’ve got a short extract to whet your appetite!


As I dress, I wonder what would happen if I too decided not to visit Gramma. What if I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort? If I decided that instead of seeing my dying relative, I would pursue the imaginary possibility of playing music with a world-renowned rock star? And it instantly comes to me.

Nothing would happen. 

Nothing at all. 

Gramma would die. 

Alone.

And the impact on my life would be the same as removing one grain of sand from the Sahara. 

But there is something that makes me different to my brother, my father. It is more than just a yearning not to be like them. It is actually a part of me. A part of what makes me the way I am. I am not like them. I have always played this role. I’ve spent a lifetime making up for their behaviour by doing more than one person could ever be reasonably expected to do. 

To be honest with you, Gramma dying alone doesn’t even bother me. 

After what happened, it’s no more than she deserves.

I make my way downstairs into the kitchen and click on the kettle. I try to imagine how I would have felt if my father had called and told me that Gramma had already died. I concentrate, stripping away my personal feelings for her and wrestling with how I should feel on hearing of the death of anybody. I am still thinking as the rush of steam is propelled into the underside of the kitchen cupboards, dispersing in all directions like the mushroom from an atom bomb. 

I decide that I will make the effort and at least visit her once. 

That feels right. I’ll do it tomorrow.


Sound good? 337 by M. Jonathan Lee is published by Hideaway Fall, and is out now. Please note the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only.

You can get a copy of 337 from amazon here (affiliate link)

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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