Review: The Hike by Drew Magary

The Hike

The Hike
Author: Drew Magary
Published: August 2016
Genre: Horror/Fantasy
Series: N/A
Rating: C

In the mood for something trippy? Then “The Hike” is for you. Ben is on a work trip when he decides to take a short hike while waiting for a meeting. When he sees two men wearing the skinned-off faces of Rottweilers dragging a dead body in the woods, he makes a run for it. Pursued by the killers, Ben quickly finds himself stumbling down an unfamiliar path where things like talking crabs, cannibalistic giants and a humongous cricket wait for him.

The best way to describe “The Hike” is as a series of crazy nonsensical events. While the constant barrage of weirdness coming at Ben was exactly what I had been looking for, it stopped working for me around the mid-point. Mostly because “The Hike” seems to be trying to make a point about anger or depression through an “Alice in Wonderland” style story, which doesn’t come across very well.

There’s a lot of emphasis placed on Ben’s history with depression and hints that his repressed anger is causing damage. Throughout the story we get glimpses of his past as Ben relives traumatizing moments but with the things that went wrong fixed. Without giving too much away, the concept behind what is causing these moments is interesting. However, that idea gets a little buried in what felt like moments of oddness that were just filler. It still could’ve worked if Ben’s character had experienced some growth from his experiences.

Ben goes through some traumatic stuff, with many of the situations targeting his specific fears. A lot of time passes and, for a short while, he seems to evolve from a person who throws hissy fits to a calmer “takes things in stride” person. Toward the climax this vanishes and he reverts back to the impulsive person he was in the beginning. What further spoils his character development is the climax. Ben is presented with a final choice before he can obtain what he’s been struggling so hard for the entire story. Both options have their appeal and selecting either one requires a sacrifice. Instead of making a decision, Ben is allowed to essentially get both choices. For me, this solution cheapened Ben’s journey  and his end choice.

Despite my issues with the story, this was an ok read. If you like “John Dies at the End” but want to read something that takes itself a little more seriously, you might find something to like here.

9 thoughts on “Review: The Hike by Drew Magary

  1. Hmm, this seems to be gathering some mixed reviews. I have a copy and I do plan to read it when I have a chance, it seems like it’s not going to appeal to everyone, however. Sometimes I tend to like books like this so we’ll see!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you got to give this one a go – it is REALLY bizarre. I honestly didn’t like it at all when I first started, too far into the realm of “weirdness” for my tastes. But when I decided to just let go I think I started to enjoy it a lot more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh good cover. Sounds a little weird though lol. I’m not sure I’d like the end if the character is allowed to basically split the difference, more or less, especially if it doesn’t really jive w/ the character growth. Still might not be a bad read if I go in w/ lowered expectations. Lol about Kristin’s comment above re: bad mushrooms… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah the cover is excellent. It actually relates really closely to what goes on in the story with the different images on it. Yeah, that ending kind of put a damper on things, but if you went in expecting that you might end up enjoying it more.


  4. A series of crazy, nonsensical events…sounds like my undergrad years. LOL! But in all seriousness, this sounds a bit too out there for me. I might eye the cover with appreciation but I don’t think the actual story would appeal to me.


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