I have received this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
Evan has lost everything in life that mattered to him: his wife, dead of cancer, and his job. While walking on a park to clear his mind he meets Harriet, a woman who is willing to go walking from Florida to Arizona to fulfill her destiny: slaying a cyclops. Since Evan has nothing better to do, he decides to drive her during a part of the trip, clearly convinced that Harriet is completely mental.
I was not sure what to expect from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a fresh tale full of humor, sadness, and many absurd situations. It is one of those stories where the journey is more important than the goal itself. I really enjoyed traveling with Evan and Harriet, and all the things and the people they met during their journey. Due to Harriet’s atypical background there are quite some absurd conversations that made me laugh a lot. I have to say that there is a bit of Deus ex Machina, but strangely, I was not bothered by it this time. I think it was due to how well the story was written and how great I found the characters to be. They were not ultra developed, but they felt real and each one special on their own way. Strand is great in creating great characters that feel close to one, and even though we are not given many details about them, I cared for them and I already miss them.
As Evan, I was curious about whether the cyclops existed or not. But as I have said, I was not too worried about it. It was funny to be in the dark regarding this, and enjoy the weird situations Evan and Harriet found along the way.
I found a bit confusing the part with the cave and the path in the desert, but for the rest it was a greatly enjoyable book. One of those that you listen to with a smile plastered on your face.
But a great story is nothing without a great narration, and Joe Hempel delivered a top notch one this time again. He makes the story flow naturally, creating the right atmosphere, delivering great characters’ interpretations, and making you forget that you are listening to a book. It is the most similar thing to a seamless experience that I can imagine.
I loved this book much more than I expected. It was a great story but the key here was on its execution. I will be closely following Jeff Strand after this one.
Available at Amazon/Audible