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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 listeners on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ketil on 01-06-17
Kafkaesque novel that went on way too long
It seems to be endemic to the genre, but Kafkaesque writers never know when to quit and wrap it up. What I like about the novel is that there are many individual scenes that are memorable, sometimes because they are entertaining and sometimes because they are slightly disturbing. And there are few well-described peaceful, almost beautiful moments, but not many. Also there is some humor from time to time.
What I don't like is that the book just kept going on and on like the novels of Kafka or Stanislaw Lem. The reader can already guess the end but has to slug through the mire to get the closure he\she deserves.
All that being said, some of it stuck with me after listening, and I might just listen to it again though for the life of me I can't say why.
90 of 99 people found this review helpful
By The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem on 02-17-17
Confusing. Terrifying. Oddly enlightening.
At first "The Hike" seems like a psychological horror, but it is a bit more than that. As the novel moves on towards the end there is a twist and a thoughtful lesson in it.
A man named Ben goes down a hiking trail and gets lost after witnessing something horrifying, but it quickly becomes apparent that reality itself has become twisted and starts testing him with hardships. In a mature man's darker version of wonderland, Ben struggles through these challenges on the path wondering how to get back home and why he is being tested at all.
The narrator does a great job bringing Ben's brittleness and emotional states to the surface of the audiobook. You can really get a feel for the character and what he is going through.
Recommended those who enjoy books such as "Alice in Wonderland" or movies such as "Pan's Labrinth". Anyone drawn to a chaotic tale where every event in it is a metaphor and a puzzle will most likely enjoy "The Hike".
8 of 8 people found this review helpful