Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: The Hike by Drew Magary

The HikeTitle: The Hike
Author: Drew Magary
Publisher/Publication Date: Viking; August 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source/Format: Won; Hardcover

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

From the author of The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you’ve read before, weaving elements of folk tale and video game into a riveting, unforgettable adventure of what a man will endure to return to his family...

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects. On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path. At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival...

My Thoughts:

The Hike is the first book I’ve read by Drew Magary. In fact, this is the first I’ve actually heard of him. I happened to win a copy of the book, and was really excited since the synopsis had me sold. I was convinced I was going to like it. And, legit, I think The Hike is the most bizarrely entertaining book I’ve ever read.

The Hike could be summed up as one man’s personal struggle bus and his journey to get away from it. From very early on, troubles plagued Ben after he took an ill-timed walk and ended up on a path that was random and strange. Seemingly impossible things happened. And that’s one of the things I liked most about The Hike. It was random at times, but that randomness tied into the overall plot. I kept reading because I was curious to know if Ben would survive his ordeals and figure out the secrets of the Path. The Hike kept me guessing, and that was a good thing. 

I liked the way Magary wrote The Hike. The writing accented the plot, which allowed the beginning to set a brisk pace that continued consistently throughout the novel. The setting was a mismatched mixture of random places with even stranger inhabitants, and was kind of cool at times; although, strange and dangerous more often than not.

Now, there isn’t much I can say on the characters since there really weren’t that many that I can mention without saying some kind of spoiler. Many of the secondary characters had important roles, but I won’t reveal them. But, I can talk about Ben. Ben’s POV made the story. His internal thoughts, emotions, and reactions were some of the best parts of The Hike.

All in all, The Hike was very good. 

Rating 4.5/5

About the author...

Drew Magary is a correspondent for GQ Magazine, a columnist for Deadspin, and a Chopped Champion. He’s also the author of four books: The Hike, The Postmortal, Someone Could Get Hurt, and Men With Balls. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children, and enjoys taking long walks...

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