The Hike: A Novel by Drew Magary (Epub)


Ebook Info

  • Published: 2017
  • Number of pages: 288 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.80 MB
  • Authors: Drew Magary


From the author of The Night the Lights Went Out and The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you’ve read before, weaving elements of folk tales and video games into a riveting, unforgettable adventure of what a man will endure to return to his family

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 readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.

User’s Reviews

Review “Drew Magary’s new novel, The Hike, follows Ben, a dad trying to get home after wandering into a parallel universe on a business trip. . . . Buy it for all your friends—everyone loves a good dad odyssey.”—GQ“The Hike just works. It’s like early, good Chuck Palahniuk leeched of all bitterness and class warfare—back when Chuck was still weird and tired and furious. It’s like a story you tell yourself on a long drive alone in the dark. It’s fun and fast and bizarre, familiar yet completely other. But the real kicker? Magary underhands a twist in at the end that hits you like a sharp jab at the bell. You’ll see stars, I promise, but I don’t want to come within a million miles of spoiling for you. It’s just that good.”—“A page-turner. . . . A successful work of contemporary fantasy. It displays a writer in command of his voice and experimenting with more traditional forms of narrative, while being inventive, funny, and, by the end of the work, quietly profound and touching.”—BoingBoing“It’s kind of a more cynical version of The Phantom Tollbooth mixed with a game of Dungeons & Dragons from Community creator Dan Harmon’s podcast Harmontown.”—Wired, chosen as one of “This Summer’s 14 Must-Read Books”“At once heartfelt, nerve-wracking, and soul-searching, The Hike is an emotional punch to the gut draped in the trappings of fantasy and psychological horror. It’s a beautifully written novel with thoughtful characters, crunchy descriptions, and crisp action. I loved every single ounce of this book. I’m already looking forward to re-reading it and I only finished it a few days ago. Easily a contender for a slot in my top five favorite books of 2016.”—“Often hilarious, as you would expect any book by Magary to be, but like The Postmortal there is a real darkness and thoughtfulness to Ben’s journey that will keep you engrossed.”—’s Summer Reading Guide“A gonzo fantasy adventure with a simple premise: a guy gets lost in the woods. Yet with Magary, getting lost means being chased by dog-faced murderers, crashing into an iceberg, almost getting eaten by a giant, and being forced to build a castle for the undead. In short, things get weird.”—Men’s Journal“The Hike does for casual hiking what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean. . . . An existential, metaphysical journey into what would happen if you ended up in an alternate universe that challenged everything you thought you knew about yourself.”—“A fun and funny book.” —“The Hike reads like a mix of The Odyssey and The Phantom Tollbooth, with the same humor Magary uses on Deadspin. . . . Along the way, Magary’s hero hunts for an enigmatic mastermind, encounters man-eating giants and monsters, and teams up with a talking crab. What starts out as a saga of suburban ennui quickly turns into gripping tale of survival.”—Washington City Paper“Among the strangest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. . . . True to its nature, the story stays unpredictable and weird right up to the climax. Magary’s book is a love letter to fans of gaming, fantasy and adventure, but above all, to open minded readers who can relax and hang on for the ride.”—BookPage“A road novel, a psychedelic Pilgrim’s Progress for the 21st Century, Cormac McCarthy after three scotches. . . . I loved every single page of it. . . . [This book] is very good. Tell your friends.”—The Free Lance-Star“Magary’s second novel (after The Postmortal) features elements reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and the PC game King’s Quest. Mostly, it is a reminder of not only how easy it is to get lost but also how difficult it can be to find one’s way back. Fast-paced and immensely entertaining, this is highly recommended for sf fans and adventurous literary readers.” —Library Journal (starred review)“In this literary odyssey, Magary combines fascinating dream imagery, assorted video game tropes, and a story structure that’s deliberately predictable (with nods to many other tales of wandering through strange lands before returning home) but still surprising.” —Publishers Weekly“Creepy. . . . Magary isn’t shy about getting weird fast. . . . [He] even nails the ending with a Twilight Zone twist that would have Rod Serling nodding with approval. An eerie odyssey that would be right at home in the pages of the pulpy Warren comics.”—Kirkus Reviews“The Hike is Cormac McCarthy’s Alice in Wonderland—gritty and terrifying but with deliriously surreal twists and turns. There’s not a chapter that doesn’t shock and surprise, and underneath it all is the levity and wit I’ve come to expect of Drew Magary’s writing.”—Jeffrey Cranor, New York Times bestselling cowriter of Welcome to Night Vale“The Hike is so much fun, has so much pure velocity, that I didn’t realize until it was too late—what I thought was a drumbeat of excitement was actually the novel’s secret, powerful heart. Magary’s new book is a metaphysical thrill ride that will stay with me.”—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional UniversePraise for The Postmortal “An exciting page turner . . . Drew Magary is an excellent writer. This is his first novel but he tells the story masterfully. . . . The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that this could really happen—it’s not a supernatural story, but it’s even more terrifying than zombie apocalypse.” —Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing “Unnerving. . . . An absorbing picture of dawning apocalypse . . . The Postmortal is a suitably chilling entry into the ‘it’s-the-end-of-the-world’ canon.” —The Austin Chronicle “The first novel from a popular sports blogger and humorist puts a darkly comic spin on a science fiction premise and hits the sweet spot between Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut.” —Ron Hogan, Shelf Awareness “The Postmortal surprised me in a good way.” —Michelle West, Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine “Magary’s vision of future technology and science is eerily realistic.” —The New York Press

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ The Hike is somewhat imaginative, but poorly executed. The story is poorly structured which made it impossible to get into for me.First problem. It drops its protagonist onto this strange path from the start. No setup. No character development. You don’t know why he is on this path, nor do you care.Second problem. The story is very linear. Follow the path, occasionally battle some boss, repeat.Its like someone took an old, bad video game and tried to convert it into a novel. It does not work.

⭐ A twist, so astronomically improbable as to be absurd, awaits you at the end of this book… it’s a light read, nothing complex. Bubblegum fiction. Kinda hard to get into, feels like it peaks midway into the story then fades like an aging prize fighter does in the 9th round…That fighter tries desperately to K.O. the opponent in the final seconds of the 10th round but only feels air against his gloves as he’s clawing for breath and remembering better days…If this book is free via prime give it a go and see what you think but I can’t recommend paying any amount for it

⭐ I bought this on a whim when it was on sale for 2 bucks thinking that “The Hike” would be funny football related stories told by Drew… It was a very confusing start to the story with that mindset.I’m about 3/4ths of the way through and I think Drew needs to see his therapist more often. He’s got some issues he needs to resolve. It’s a mix of Stephen King’s The Long Walk and that acid trip you had your first time at Burning Man.

⭐ I love this book. I originally got this book from the library and read it in a few days and then purchased it for a friend because I needed them to experience it as well.As far as the story, it’s so insane, and the book starts immediately. There’s not pages and pages of set up, it jumps into the craziness right from the get go. There are parts that seem to go on a little bit about half way through the book but it’s definitely not unbearable just a difference from the crazy speed of the story from early parts.I thought the first twist would be the only one, but right up to the end it’s like riding on a train with no tracks. Just read it.If you liked this I would read John Dies at the End and the rest of the book (heck, just start with that one and read the author’s entire collection).

⭐ The story stayed with me when I was done.It was creative and a bit different from a usual modern fantasy.I don’t want to trash the novel because I know how much work goes into writing one.The only downside was that the main character was kind of a wimp and lacked in deserving empathy from the reader.If that’s what the writer was going for, then nailed it.But at times the wining was a a bit repetitious and made me have to walk away from it more than a few times.Perhaps I was the wrong demographic for the intended audience, but as a Male adult I found the main character to be a rather winy for a straight guy.But I’m gay so what do I know.

⭐ When I was a kid I used to think about the universe and my own consciousness and quickly get a shiver. It happens more rarely now, but Magary searches for that spot. That goal ties Postmortal and The Hike together. Even better, he does it with a moral: we must *work* to find that spot, where the fact we are here, today, in this life with people we love is the miracle. Then the rest is gravy. I’ve been reading Magary for a long time and he’s the people’s DFW. He is uber sensitive to the daily indignities and challenges of even the most nerfy life, but fights against that to find the sacred. This is water. With whatever he writing, whatever the subject, he embraces the spectrum from the profane to the sacred.

⭐ Garbage. A waste of money. Take out the profanity and you have a childs’ book, but not a very good one. Don’t waste your money like I did.

⭐ I was genuinely blown away by this book. Drew Magary really sends you on an excellent ride. A story with scares, adventure, fantasy that also deals with notions of age and memory and family so deftly. They always say it’s bad form to make comparisons of this plus that, but The Hike is like a combination of middle period Christopher Moore, and late period Kurt Vonnegut to me.

⭐ A short business trip turns into an inescapable journey for Ben. Some parts are confusing, some are eye opening, some are scary, as Ben is forced to travel on a path forward and being tested at every step. Written well, this story of Ben, his discoveries and reflections, his suffering on the “path” as he realizes his joys, faces his fears and begins to understand what matters most to him, will stay with me and knock around in my head for a while.

⭐ I would never have picked this book to read personally but I’m glad it got chosen for book club. It’s a strange story with monsters and weird happenings but what a page turner. Most of the time I couldn’t decide if I was enjoying it or just captivated by the nightmarish goings on. Well written, great characters and a wonderful ending. Thoroughly recommend.


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