Narrator rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Whew what a fun ride this one was. I’m quite sure I would not have enjoyed this one as thoroughly if I hadn’t listened to the audio. The central plot is a roadtrip with a motley cast of characters that goes wrong in a number of ways, both accidentally and nefariously.
When a group of former reform school inmates have varying ideas of how they will live their lives after leaving the work farm, it leads to all manner of hilarity and life lessons. Emmett was incarcerated after a fight that lead to the death of a classmate, he’s your classic good kid who made an unfortunate choice. When he returns home, his father has died and left a farm riddled with debt and his younger brother in need of a caretaker. They decide to take off in his old Studebaker from Nebraska to California. The road trip takes them in an entirely different direction and they meet all manner of interesting people, ride the rails, see NYC, commit a few crimes and find some meaning in their lives.
While all of the characters were entertaining and complex with compelling backstories, I really loved precocious and principled Billy and Ulysses with his parallels to his mythological namesake. I loved that the adventurous historical fiction was sprinkled with mythology references. I wanted a little more in the ending (that’s funny to say for such a long book) but that’s why it’s not a 5 star read but it was darn near close.
What’s the longest book you’ve read recently?