Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip starts out all clever and funny in the lead’s book and the humor with which he presents his brand of faith, BUT things shift, there’s less and less humor and more and more instances of the narrowness of his views (all their views, in fact) and even an the overly-simple way in how almost everyone sees certain things/ people. So this became less clever and funny, mainly because liking the lead became more and more difficult with each page of him doing what he was doing. Frankly: missing the mark, there was a lot of that going on here.
First, with each page, liking him was becoming more and more difficult… even impossible. He’s written a bestselling book in a two week period, has a lost love he’s made to deal with over the course of a road trip (a road trip that doesn’t SADLY doesn’t add much to the story), and brother who’s there but one he wishes weren’t; then all those things on faith – driving the point home that some people could oversimplify things when they shouldn’t have been. In fact there’s an almost-mocking vibe that last aspect is presented. And sure I’m non-practicing Catholic, but the way things are set forth here: there’s an overly simple way in the way ALL of the react that doesn’t sit right.
So it’s not really about faith; he in fact no Jesus and his book’s is in fact no Bible… expect it’s that hyper-fast way things happen with him in the middle that almost led it there. Perhaps it’s perception: of who his was as others saw him, of who he was as he saw himself, of who he was others expected... even of who Fran was, and even of who his brother was (becoming). So behind the he’s so great, the book’ so great plus the ast way things occur, look deeper and you see he’s just a kid, with ordinary kid problems: what do they think of me, what does she think of me and what do I think of myself?? I wish things were kept at that simpler level because then maybe I could a have loved this more.
And really I could have loved THIS more: the road trip and that long lost love-come back aspects especially. To the first: long have I been a fan of road trip books. It allows for a host of discovery in self in others and what was and what could be… none of those are allowed to happen here. What happens: a set of misunderstandings and clarity on his end that not everything revolves around the him as the lead.
OK, so maybe I liked this aspect after all: it made the story LESS about a lead who I disliked and more about the others around him. In fact, maybe that road trip aspect does have value here: it’s proven that he’s not the center of the universe; things happen, and they’re not always going to be about him. Thinking of things in this light I have to take it back: the road trip angel does serve a purpose… if only to distract from how I disliked the lead.
To the second: on long lost loves and things of that nature. That no-non sense vibe she starts with, that tough girl-schitck, is sadly a really just a shtick. And man what a letdown is all. Anyway: him, Fran and what she’s doing. It’s all about perceptions and reactions. Him reacting then her reacting equals me, frustrated once the ‘real thing behind was unearthed.
So there's a clever start here, but it's a let down in the end.
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