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Publisher's Summary

What goes on inside our own minds will often be our undoing....
He had not always been such a lost cause. Not long before life was consumed by the poisonous chemicals that pumped through an addict's body, he was an active participant in what was considered society; with a beautiful wife, a home, a decent career. To an outside observer, life seemed perfect. But this story isn't a happily-ever-after fairy tale. It's the darkest parts of life, an internal battle of demons and, maybe, redemption.
©2016 J.L. Hoyt (P)2017 J.L. Hoyt
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Simone K on 06-27-17

Addiction is Terrifying

Any additional comments?

This book won't be for everyone - it isn't a simple listen. It requires that the listener really, well, listen throughout the book. I can see ways where Hoyt could have made the book simpler and easier to follow and I know exactly why he didn't do that. Listening to the book (or reading it) was supposed to make the reader feel as confused, lost and alone as the protagonist. This book follows an addict in his downward spiral towards violence and death; it doesn't always go in chronological order.

I think this book was well crafted and it left me feeling the way the author intended - flustered and anxious. A lot of reviews said this story was told badly but I think that the readers were just experiencing exactly what the author intended and didn't like it. If you're going to listen to this book, be prepared to enter the mind of an addict, and to live uncomfortably there throughout the duration of the book. The concept is cool and the execution works! I would recommend this book to readers who like something unique, outside of the box.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By espanolish on 05-02-17

I Watched from the Other Side of the Street

This first-person account of unglamorous addiction had great potential. With a title like Walking on Quicksand, you expect darkness or bleakness, and Hoyt delivered. You get the definite almost un-washable feel of his plight, defiance, and self-loathing.

It a good story, poorly told and so there inlays the loss potential. The method of delivery left me watching everything unfold from the other side of the street. Throughout the entire tale, I remained an outsider looking in, which I suppose is indeed the experience of a drug addict but it took away from the reading/listening experience.

The first person perspective is told with third person style where the protagonist is aware of what others are thinking, often with the surety of a mind reader or some all-knowing god-like entity. Rather than the protagonist blasting his audience with his unilateral take on things and expecting unquestionable acceptance, more time could have been invested in dialogue (versus extended stretches of monolog). The protagonist could have drawn us closer to his experience, and consequently, made it easier to not only relate to him but to better empathize with and actually LIKE him.

The introduction of the female love interest was done with a bit of mystery: This sparked my interest. I found myself perking up and listening more attentively to better understand her role. In quick disappointment, her part fell flat under the weight of the narrative style. The narrative moves forward and her immeasurable potential to give the tale texture remains sadly unrealized. As with the rest of the telling, the protagonist keeps his reader/listener at bay with too much "telling" and not enough "showing," lethal side effects of bringing us into his head and keeping us hostage to his analysis of self and of others. Thesis effect was repeated with his wife and pusher. The danger of leaning so heavily (almost exclusively) on this extended stretches of monolog and bubbles of thoughts is flatness, and for me, the undesirable sense of being led. Less of this could have resulted in more realized potential, e.g. stronger character development, deeper dives into backstories, more crisscrossed layers of character interaction, etc.

The narrator’s female voice could use more practice, and there were some mispronounced words, but overall he did a fine job. I listened comfortably and enjoyably at 1.5x speed.

The author gifted this book in exchange for a review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Norma Miles on 05-30-17

"...merely shadows with a flashing outline."

Any additional comments?

Not the book I expected it to be.
From the excellent title, Walking Through Quicksand, and the brief introductory blurb, I had thought this the tale of one man's descent as he pursues a drugs career until, finally, admitting defeat, he struggles to regain his life. I even had hopes that it could illustrate that the use of drugs, and losing control of their taking, is not simply confined to the dregs of society, intent only on robbery or prostitution to fund their next fix. I was wrong.

The story starts reasonably well, with our 'hero' waking, near oblivious to time and surroundings, and making his way to the one place and person he knows he can trust. Then, not for the first time, he walks away, not yet prepared to face himself without his chemical crutches. A bit self indulgent and OTT, but it did give a taste of what might be inside the head of a man gone into self flagellation over the course his life has taken.

But it's all down hill after that. A seemingly silly story of how he became addicted initially, what happened next and the final launch into fantasy world regression and revenge. No, sorry, no sympathy whatsoever for this miserable specimen who stuffs himself full of drugs then blames the dealer. I know of several, real life destructive drug stories far more tragic in their origins and progress and not one has been one tenth as winging, self pitying and downright unpleasant as him.

However, this is fiction. It was a great idea. The narrator was splendid, with the slowed, not quite slurred, speech of someone using downers and was even convincing in his descent into the madness in his mind. Apart from a single other voice near the beginning, all is from the one character's imagination and Mr.Dunsworth assumes this personality well, reflecting it in his reading. In fact, it was his performance which carried me through to the end of the book.
My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me my copy of Walking Through Quicksand, via Audiobook Boom. To get inside the head of an addict was a splendid idea but this was just too contrived to have a sense of reality and I did struggle to listen through to the end.
A book I could only recommend people to avoid.

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