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The Hike

Written by: Drew Magary
Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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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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Mind numbing

I paid for it so I was determined to finish. It had positive reviews so I kept waiting for it to improve....nope... it never happened. It took me forever to finish since I actually had to slog through but my mind would keep drifting away.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Strange but engaging

It is a very odd tail about a hike which I can't actually say anything about without making this a spoiler. It is in the tradition of all epic journeys such as the Oddesy, a voyage home, vs Lord of the rings, a quest to something out for a cause. The situations are interesting, the pace is good and the performance is very good.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Like a season of Lost

While this book isn't a literary masterpiece, it was a really imaginative romp, reminiscent of a season of Lost where the improbable becomes reality. I remained engaged throughout the story and felt it had a satisfying ending. I would recommend this one!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Strange but captivating

I bought the book without reading the synopsis so I had no idea what to expect. The story was fast paced and entertaining. It drew me in very quickly and made me guessing until the end. The performance of the reader was also excellent.

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  • David
  • 2017-05-08

Best ending I can remember

Is Kaufkaesk the right term for this book? Both the reader and main character are thrown into dark and confusing world, and struggling to understand why, what to do. As the story goes on our main character character slowly figures out the "path" in his never ending effort to get back to his family.

In most books the reader feels like he has one up on the main character, in that the reader has a better idea of what's going on. In a zombie apocalypse book, the reader already knows there will be zombies and how to kill them and we get frustrated watching the tropeish characters struggle to figure it out. Magary gives the reader no extra context so there are times when we are every bit as lost as our hero. This just adds to the story.

The trials on the path become a great allegory for life. There are moments of toil, fear, horror, self loathing, self pity, love, companionship, longing, resignation, and times where its laugh out loud funny. There is a sexy Giant, a sarcarstic talking crab, the undead, and serial killers. Beyond that its hard to its hard to say much without giving anything away. Just get this book and enjoy the ride; you won't be disappointed.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ketil
  • 2017-01-06

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.

98 of 111 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen Moran
  • 2017-06-04

Take a Hike

I was a little hesitant to get this book as some of the reviews said the main character was whiny or that the book went on to long. I was well rewarded for ignoring those negative comments as The Hike was a excellent story with a relatable character thrust into a really crazy situation. If you're looking for unusual but highly engaging story take a chance on The Hike.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana
  • 2016-09-02

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.

84 of 100 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard D. Shewman
  • 2017-02-23

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • newyorkaise
  • 2017-02-02

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. 🦀

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem
  • 2017-02-17

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".

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • BDB
  • 2016-08-08

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.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • mred696
  • 2016-10-19

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.

45 of 57 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharell
  • 2016-12-18

weird thing after weird thing happens

just a series of weird things but no point in the end. skip this book

12 of 15 people found this review helpful