The Hike by Drew Magary

Posted On 15 September 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 16 responses

Untitled-4.inddThe Hike was one of those reads that quite unexpectedly takes you by storm.  I had no idea what the book was about and in fact confess I felt a little anxious before picking it up but as it happens this story grabbed my attention completely virtually from the start and held me captivated for the duration.  I think my biggest dilemma now is how to actually write an effective review that gives nothing away at the same time as making you want to read it.

I can say that this book has something of a surreal feel to, well, that’s how I  felt reading it.  It’s a strange journey of discovery following in the tracks of a hapless man, Ben, who seems to have stumbled onto the strangest path, a path on which, having witnessed a murder he is forced to flee for his life deep into the wilderness, is nothing like you could ever imagine.

So, being unable to really say too much more about the plot, because this really is a journey that you have to make on your own, I’ll make this review simply about why this worked for me.

I found this a fast paced read.  It starts out with an unusual opening, one that you read with a slight feeling of something already being not quite right and that feeling quickly escalates into a very real understanding that things are far from normal and Ben is definitely in the strangest place.

This book had oddity in abundance, it feels like a weird coming together of John Connolly’s Book of Strange Things and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland almost bound together in a Stephen King type of style and feel.  It reads like a coming of age story, but for grown ups, and the overriding feeling I had when reading was that this is a world where anything could and would happen.  A world where you can one moment be lost in the forest and the next on the beach talking to a crab.  In that respect it put me in mind of certain video games, where one minute you have a character riding on a dinosaur eating mushrooms and the next in a haunted house or running through a volcano.  In other words anything can turn up.

The writing style at times has a whimsical, fairytale feel as Ben wanders down his path encountering little old ladies in gingerbread style houses one moment only to then turn to a scene of horror in the next.  I confess I enjoyed the writing style and was hooked from the opening lines.  In fact, upon consideration, I’m not sure whether it’s the pace of the read that is fast or whether it compelled me to read at breakneck speed in order to find out what was actually happening but I admit I was utterly intrigued.

I hope that I haven’t overstated the strangeness too much.  Yes, this is undoubtedly a trippy type of read but it’s really well executed and so intriguing, it has touches of horror but also touches of humour and on top of that, it completely threw me.  As I read this I started to have that feeling that I knew what this was going to be about, and even how it might end, but as it happened I was completely and very satisfyingly wrong!

I admit that this might not be for everyone.  It’s an unusual book without doubt and certainly one that is difficult to review.  But, I’m certainly glad to have picked this one up, I had no difficulty in dashing the Hike and although I’m unable to give much away with this review I can say that this book left me impressed.



16 Responses to “The Hike by Drew Magary”

  1. sjhigbee

    Fantastic review, Lynn – you’ve certainly hooked me:)). Glad that you loved it and I’ll certainly be looking out for it.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you find the time to give it a shot – I thought it was compelling.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I’m so glad I have a copy of this book, and I hope to squeeze it in soon. Seriously, this has my name written all over it:-D

  3. mreadsbooks

    This actually sounds great! And the cover looks so intriguing. Loved your review 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks, it was really a very compelling read. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen and practically tore through this. I hope you get a chance to read it.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    If the cover is a good representation of the contents (and from your description it looks like it is!) this could be indeed a very strange read. But intriguing, very intriguing…

    • @lynnsbooks

      It certainly was intriguing… the cover is actually pretty good too when I look back at it.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Sarah @ Reviews and Readathons

    I just heard about this on one of the reading podcasts I listen to. I’m definitely adding it to my TBR!

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I didn’t think this would be my kind of book at all, but despite my trepidation I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did. This was such a wonderful book, wasn’t it? I loved Crab 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Crab was great! I just really enjoyed this. It was such a pleasant surprise.

  7. Delighted and Enchanted | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Magary – The Hike surely had to be one of my most unexpectedly enjoyable and compelling reads this […]

  8. The best of the best of the best 2016 | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Adrian Tchaikovsky, Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards, 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough, The Hike by Drew Magary, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler […]

  9. Hiding in plain sight! Hidden gems… | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Hike by Drew Magary – 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. […]

  10. Never say Never | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Hike by Drew Magary […]

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