Review: The Roads We Take

Most of us have heard of J. D. Salinger, and the famous novel: “The Catcher in the Rye.” In fact, that novel (1951), and the author, Jerome David Salinger, who has since died (1/27/2010) at the ripe age of 91, has been a mainstay in high schools across America for what the novel deals with: complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Salinger). But that was then; this is now.

 

Author, Ethan Edgewood is a new writer of the modern age, having written his first novel “The Roads We Take” (2016), and I might say it deals very much with some of the same “complex issues” of innocence, identity, and so forth, except not in high school, but as with many young people in their twenties, today. So this novel is quite frankly a very good assessment of today’s young people who are looking for direction in their lives. Probably a good read for the college level young adults, starting out.

What is different–and yet, the same–is the nostalgia, and sometimes poignant truth of the difficulty of getting through life’s lessons as a young person: either one grows, or falls short and into trouble, and that is the biggest theme of all, how taking one road can lead a way that helps one progress, or another road, that can lead the way you do not want to go. The excitement is in the trip, where two young men full of youth, restlessness, and mischief, find themselves wondering what might happen if they take a road trip and decide to give it a go.

During the timeframe of a week on the road, the reader finds out who these two young men really are, and what makes them do what they do, on which roads they plan or don’t plan to travel, and why.

Perhaps some may say the story’s been told, but one must remember, every story in the world has been told: it takes a good storyteller to tell it again. And this is what I’ve found. J.D. Salinger might have died, but he may have been reincarnated in Ethan Edgewood. If not, Ethan has a good grip on Salinger’s style, albeit, not exactly the same in semantics, syntax, and grammar, but close enough to say this author, Edgewood, knows how to tell a story, make the reader a part of that story, and makes the reader think about those thematic truths within the story, whether we’ve heard it before or not. I liked it, and I loved reading about the angst of and sometimes tormenting choices in, youth and human progress. To read it, one might find a wide ray of hope in humanity, once again.

The Joy of Multi-Sensual Reading, or What does the Mind of an OCD genius look like?

Have you ever found yourself reading three or four books at once? Well, not “at once,” exactly, but taking turns reading some tomorrow, and a little of yet another the afternoon, and yet another in the evening before bed, and…. you catch my meaning.

It sometimes concerns me that I am acutely bored easily, and I have to continue changing the venue. Then I think of some people who had the exact same problem with certain obsessions of theirs, which I believe now has a clinical name: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Consider Picasso, or Einstein, or even Leonardo; Nicola Tesla, and there are a multitude more. The nice thing though is that this kind of problem is equated with high intelligence. I would like to think that I am in that category. The problem with my reading so many books at once is that it takes me longer than average to finish a book, by virtue of the fact that I only read a very small amount per week, because I am reading so many within the same period.

This can be a concern as well, due to the fact that I am terrible about deadlines. Now, what author do you think should be terrible with deadlines? Right! None! but then, I read somewhere that one of the greatest minds today never meets deadlines:

“I always deliver what I say, just maybe not in the time frame that I say it” – Elon Musk.

That’s right, folks, Elon Musk, a great mind, and a brilliant entrepreneur. He does not meet deadlines…

Now, before anyone cries out that I am advocating leaving deadlines behind, and acquiring OCD, remember, these are regular quirks for specific kinds of people. Whether or not they offer a unique breath of fresh air is beside the point; the point is, it is a painful process at worst, an annoyance at best.

So when someone asks me to read their book for review, or a professor asks me to submit a paper by the end of the year, I must tell you, I am hard pressed to do so, and I am harder pressed to finish anything but in my own timeline. I was never very good at following the pied piper, you see; I’ve got my own calling of a different drummer.

Stay tuned for my multiple reviews AFTER I’ve finished all these books I’m reading presently! I guess I started this entire blurb to cover my…slowness, to finish reviewing a number of books I am supposed to review. Au revoir!