I will fly at last. I will unfold my wings. I will unpack my head. I will step back outside. One day I may even make love again. But one thing at a time. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Film mogul, aviator, addict, inventor, visionary, recluse, serial womanizer, and political meddler: Howard Hughes was one of the strangest and most significant figures of the 20th century. His obsessive-compulsive disorder would end up crippling and isolating him; in the end he self-medicated his way into oblivion.
It's a summer night in 1973, and holed up in his hotel penthouse in London, Hughes can't sleep. Tomorrow he takes control of an airplane for the first time in more than 15 years. As the reclusive, drug-addled billionaire waits for dawn, the shape and preoccupations of the times emerge from his ruined psyche; a world of oil, flight, money, movies, drugs, sex, power, greed, fear, yearning America. Transcendent and debauched, God of Speed is a fever dream, a giant and extraordinary leap of the imagination into the fractured mind of a man who was both great and greatly fallen.
Luke Davies is an Australian writer of novels and poetry. He has published two novels, Isabelle the Navigator and the cult bestseller Candy, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 1998. A film version of Candy, starring Heath Ledger, was released in 2006. Davies lives in Los Angeles.