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REVIEWING

The Hike

By Drew Magary

Viking | 2016 | $26.00 | 278 pages

Reviewed by Michael Carey

Drew Magary

Drew Magary’s second novel, The Hike, is The Odyssey on hallucinogens. Realistically, The Odyssey is The Odyssey on hallucinogens, but Magary’s tale takes one man’s struggle to return to his family to new places in the imagination.

Ben arrives early for a business meeting at a hotel in the Poconos. With time to spare, he goes for a little hike, but the path has other plans for him. Ben finds himself in a world outside of time and space, a world that threatens his life and challenges every fiber of his resolve. In this strange new realm, Ben will face the past that was and the past that could have been, all the while struggling to avoid danger and make it home to his wife and kids.

The Hike starts slow but gains speed like a train pulling out of the station, soon to be on the verge of flying off the tracks. Readers will quickly draw conclusions, most of which will not be entirely right, and find themselves wondering how can Magary bring this ride to a fulfilling conclusion. I know I did, but The Hike delivers an action packed, bizarre thriller that makes us question what is important and a conclusion that leaves us with a satisfied smile. The writing flows smoothly between chapters, compelling readers to continue. The strangeness of the adventure boosts readers’ curiosity as to what could possibly come next and how will Ben handle it. When asked about the book, readers may pause, smile, try to explain the odd adventure Ben finds himself on, and express just how weird it all seems, but they won’t deny they are enjoying it.



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