Book Review: The Escapist

Author: David Puretz

Publisher: Global City Press

Publishing Date: Jan 21, 2020

Genre: Literary Fiction

“It’s 2011 in America, the Iraq War is coming to a close, and the Occupy Wall Street movement has been gaining steam. And at twenty-one years of age, Billy Chute is sitting in the breakdown lane on the side of the highway in his ’98 Altima with his drugs in the cooler on the passenger seat floor, in the midst of escaping yet another stale reality. Still high on an opioid and amphetamine kick, his new escape crystallizes in a journal entry: Find dad. And those few simple words seal Billy’s fate- what started as another of his impulsive flights becomes a mission, and it terrifies him, for his father is like wildfire, burning all in its path, yet confronting his traumatic past may be Billy’s only sustainable way forward. 

A propulsive story with profound insights about freedom and imprisonment, motion and stasis, chance and destiny, The Escapist delves deeply into the internal and external calamities that shape this special human life and mind. Mental health, family conflict and abuse, drug addiction, and sexuality are intricately woven together in a turbulent pre-Trump America in this dynamic and layered narrative of violence and hope.” -Publisher

Review:

I recieved this book off of NetGalley and shall be giving it an honest review.


Now when I say, I do not know how to feel about this book, I mean I REALLY do not know how to feel about this book.


The thing about this book is that it was not the most well-put-together book, but I honestly could not put it down. I devoured this book.


I am honestly disappointed that I finished the book. Or I am disappointed in how it ended, I am honestly not sure.


I could not stop reading it. There were such vivid, eye-opening details in the book. Every single thing about drug use and the violence was described so deep and hauntingly, it entranced me. I was so pulled in by the description of his drug use, family issues, etc., that I almost could completely ignore the huge plot disappointments.


The plot was absolutely wack. It was like a Catcher in the Rye, but completely high on drugs. It was super chaotic which I thought paired nicely with the book until the end. The ending left me in a huge ball of confusion. I understood everything but there was a certain part with Billy’s sidekick that I felt completely unnecessary. I liked the book until they began bringing back certain people. It was utter chaos. And I like chaos in some aspects. This was not one of them.


Billy was a great character except he had the voice of a 35-year-old heroin addict when he was about 20 years old popping pills daily. Sometimes when people mentioned that he was “too young” it took me by surprise. I feel as though for him to have been a better character, he needed that extra feel of being young and stupid. But, all I got from him was being old and f*cked (pardon my French).


All the negative stuff aside, I did enjoy this book. Yes, it did have its downs but, I will have to say that once I picked it up, I could not set it down. I think the book would have been a lot better with a different ending and a whole chunk of it taken out, but what can I do?


Anyways, thank you for reading. I appreciate it. I hope you guys all check out this book when it comes out in January!

Star Rating: 3.6

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