The debut novel of American author Michael Thomas, Man Gone Down has been featured in a multitude of prominent literary journals such as The New York Times. It also won the International Dublin Literary Award in 2009, one of the richest writing awards in the world, with a cash prize of 100,000 euros. Michael Thomas describes his own novel as dark, blunt "gallows humor".
The plot of the novel focuses around an African-American man who is separated from his white wife and children, and must hand over a huge sum of money within four days if he wishes to have them returned. The man, who narrates the story, is a struggling writer in 1980's Brooklyn, New York. When he finds himself estranged from his wife, he must somehow obtain $12,000, an obscenely large amount of money for the time period, in order to see them again. The book chronicles his attempts at accomplishing this near-impossible feat, while investigating the theme (by Thomas's testimony) of the American Dream itself.