A Long Road Getting Through “The Hike”

Do you know what’s fun? Coming up with puns that involve the book title and using them as titles to your blog post. I bet you didn’t roll your eyes at all at this title, right? Anyway, choosing to listen to the The Hike by Drew Magary was decided 50% by the cover and 50% by the synopsis on the back. Maybe in the future it should be something more like 30% synopsis and 70% reviews, because this book just wasn’t for me.

A Long Road Getting Through “The Hike”The Hike by Drew Magary
Published by Viking on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Narrator: Christopher Lane
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble

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.

summary in three
A never ending path, life-or-death battles, and fantastical creatures

Here’s the thing about this book. You’re reading a story about a man who goes on a hike and encounters a TON of extremely bizarre things along the way (just take a look at the cover- it’s those sort of bizarre things). He quickly learns he can’t leave this hike or else he’ll be killed by Rottweiler-faced men. He has to get to the “end” of the hike (and it will take years) in order to get back home to his family.

What I liked:

  1. This book is funny. There’s a certain point when things get so absurd they become hilarious. This book hits that point pretty early on. A asshole crab, a giant, man-eating cricket, a giantess who is open to trying new foods, and so very much more.
  2. The writing. I wish I had read the physical copy of this book so that I could share some of the hilariously clever quotes with you, because there were a ton.
  3. The ending! I super duper enjoyed the ending and totally wish I could talk about why I loved it… but… spoilers, so no.

What was uh…. very unlikeable:

  1. Someone on Goodreads read this book and described it perfectly: Imagine asking a three year old to tell you a story. The beginning makes since when the kid starts with “Once upon a time…” and the ending is logically tied to the beginning, “They lived happily ever after”, but everything in between is nonsense and has no rhyme or reason.
    Unfortunately this book was just too all over the place for me to enjoy it. People who love absurdities and bizarre things would likely love this book. It’s just not for me.

final star count
single star star

the hike 2

chime in
Have you read this? Do you like absurd things in books? If so, this book is likely for you.

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  1. Haha, I had to laugh at the comparison of this book and asking a three year old to tell you a story. It’s a great comparison, that’s for sure. I really wanted to read this one, but I don’t really get into books that seem a bit unstructured, so I’ll probably skip it or at least wait until I can get it cheap or at the library or something. I’m curious since you mentioned it being funny, though!

    1. Right?! He totally hit the nail on the head with that review, which is why I just had to steal it! Yes, if you don’t like unstructured books don’t even waste your time. This is the type of book for people who like that sort of disjointed, bizarre stuff (sort of an Alice in Wonderland type universe in it’s unstructured-ness).