While on a business trip in rural Pennsylvania, Ben decides to take a walk along the paths behind the hotel. His room is dank and the hotels staff are unhelpful, so he escapes to the woods. After a short hike, Ben finds himself completely alone, until he sees something horrible, and has to run for his life. In the escape, Ben loses his way, and, with no cell phone coverage, he has no choice but to pursue the path. His adventures lead him away from his suburban family existence to a world of giants, demons, and magic.
This unique modern fantasy of one man’s quest to return home only gets more and more weird—in a good way. Despite Ben’s trauma, his adventures and companions are often quite funny, including a grumpy crab, a giantess who eats humans but tries to be nice to them before making them fight each other to the death, and an rowdy god-fearing Spaniard. And once Ben finds the “Producer” and demands to be returned home, the story wraps up satisfyingly.
As a protagonist, Ben is weak… and he’s a coward. Sure, his path teaches him to fight for what he loves, but all that he seems to love are his wife and kids. Unfortunately, the reader knows nothing about them, so his desires lack emotional impact. As for the plot, the individual adventures are fun and interesting, but combined with the random reality shifts and flashbacks, the book as a whole lacks cohesion.
Recommended as a funny set of clever adventure stories for fans of the nonsensical!
“This is your life and the afterlife merged together in one perfect, endless existence.”