West book review
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Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Rising Star Studios, LLC.; First edition (May 1, 2016)
About the book:
All is not well with Christopher Wilks. Nor is all as it seems. For one thing, he is ill-equipped for the mind-bending journey he is about to undertake. Hitching a ride in a strange fifties-era station wagon driven by an even stranger couple of elderly eccentrics he calls The Mister and Missus, Christopher finds his life unwinding along with the countless miles—all into the WEST. Is the journey real? Most certainly. But when is the natural actually supernatural? He’s not quite sure. Mystical campsites, impossible visitations, shattering memories come-to-life...the roadside attractions he encounters are incredible and exhilarating. James Andrew's WEST straps the reader in for a thrill ride through landscapes both painfully real, and wildly fantastical.
I loved the opening line of Andrew’s description of his quirky little novel. It’s not quite cliché, and it sets the tone for this ride of a lifetime.
Seeing one’s life before one’s eyes is not nearly as much fun as this clock-less journey with quaint and occasional surprising guides as Christopher visits his past. Where are we going? he asks after some time, when he’s had the time to recover from acute hopelessness in the gentle but unexpectedly fun and poignant care of his hosts. Camping out, the endless supply of food, convenient pull-outs never seem to be a cause for question until Christopher’s hauntings, so to speak, begin to rouse him. From the innocuous question of how did they know my name, to passing through the eye of the needle in painful accusations to meeting people long gone from his life, the journey is more than allegory, and the destination coming quickly.
Told through Christopher’s eyes with gentle splashes from The Mister and The Missus, WEST is an interesting look at one interpretation of—without giving anything away—a reflection of a life not so well-lived. I never thought about needing to prepare for such a journey, but as I read I thought, why not? Those intrigued by spiritual things will enjoy this story. A few grammatical and punctuation issues made this editor stop a couple of times to make a mental fix, but the casual reader shouldn’t be bothered. Nicely done.
About the Author
Artist, Designer and sometimes writer, James Andrew lives and works on Hayden Island on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. WEST was written during the long hospitalization of his wife Irene, who’s been faced with the challenge of recovering from several disabling strokes.