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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you've listened to before, weaving elements of folk tale and video game 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 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.

©2016 Drew Magary (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • Story

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.

79 of 87 people found this review helpful

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Kafkaesque certainly and my new favorite

The book is a Kafkaesque contemporary telling of the Odyssey myth. The protagonist is a bit whiney at times but he is going through a process of growth and the whiney character at the beginning of the story hardens into a much wiser character by the end of the book. I enjoyed the book and was sorry to see it come to an end.

The narration was very well done.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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".

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 09-02-16

Wearisome dark journey, too long.

Based on the good reviews and fairly high ratings, I bought this book. I got halfway through and then decided to switch to something else for a while . . . something more positive. Coming back, it was still too dark and never-ending. I tried skipping forward a bit and it was the same old same old . . .

I don't understand the good reviews for this book. In the meantime, I've listened to some very good books, and coming back to this one . . . there's no point in wasting any more time on it.

People have different taste in entertainment. This is far too dark and boring for me.

75 of 89 people found this review helpful

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Whiny protagonist...

...who complains constantly and is extremely annoying. Also, the plot is totally incoherent and resembles a random collection of bizarre nonsequiturs. The ending is somewhat satisfying, but to get to the payoff, you have to slog through 7 hours of pathetic ineffectual complaining.

42 of 50 people found this review helpful

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So Many Negative Reviews!

I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews! The only solution I can come up with is that those readers do not have much of an imagination and just cannot roll with the story… OMG, the ending is absolutely priceless! I found the book quite entertaining and hard to put down. Unfortunately, I usually write reviews on books I don't like so others may be forewarned, but this one is positive so other readers can be encouraged to enjoy it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • M
  • 10-15-16

I knew what the story was about too early

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I would say that it was time spent. The book only came together in the very end and not really in a good way. It kind of just dropped an ending and went on its way.

Has The Hike turned you off from other books in this genre?

I would say that it hasn't turned me off. I enjoy a diverse type of books so no worries for me.

What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?

I thought that he sold me on him being the different characters and I didn't have trouble realizing who was talking. He did a fantastic job.

Could you see The Hike being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I think it was already a show called Lost and I thought that show was terrible. A whole lot of build up to nothing.

Any additional comments?

If you like weird Sci-Fi that appears to be going nowhere in a real hurry then this may be the book for you. Even though I say it appears to be going nowhere, I was able to pick up on the intent of the story, which kind of ruins it. If that makes sense.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • dfwjr
  • Waltham, MA
  • 08-08-16

Disappointing

I bought this book based on the recommendation of one of the Audible Editors. He said he found the interaction between Crab and the main character was funny so I was hoping for at least some humor but boy was I disappointed. This book started off interesting but slowly became depressing and boring. Even Bronson Pinchot, on of my favorite narrators, couldn't salvage this book. Really disappointing.

41 of 51 people found this review helpful

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Begins and ends in spectacular fashion

The greatest strength, it seems to me, this author possesses in relation to the Hike is that he really knows how to start a story and suck you in. Similarly, the ending was perfect. It honestly could not have ended any other way. The final scene is so beautifully done that it makes you feel as though the journey was worth the wait.

That said, it is the journey that wore me out. At some point I sat there listening to all of the things he had to go through and began to wonder just how much of it was essential to the novel and how much merely served as filler. Either way, it works because you enjoy it or you don't. If you don't, then by the end you are just as delighted to finish the path as our dear friend we've been walking it with.

The narration is superb and in my opinion made the book a wonderful listen. I'm not sure if have endured the boredom of certain scenes had it not been for the narrator.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous fairytale - great ending

I think some appreciation for video games is required to truly enjoy this book. That said, I only ever played video games when I was a kid and I still really enjoyed it. I love this guy's writing style -- very funny and engaging. And weird. The ending is absolutely terrific. I love a good ending. This might've gotten a better review than usual because I loved the ending and I just finished. Also the narrator was superb. Crab's voice was awesome. 🦀

9 of 11 people found this review helpful