I’m excited to tell you about one of this summer’s most exciting reads: the new fantasy saga, THE HIKE, written by GQ correspondent Drew Margary.
Drew will be joining us to answer some questions about his writing. In addition, thanks to Jazmin and the wonderful folks at Viking Books, I have not one but three copies of THE HIKE to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details on the giveaway.
THE HIKE is hilarious, unexpected, and undoubtedly imaginative. This thrilling novel, starts out as a normal hike in the mountains. It then turns into one of the most mid-blowing quest for finding reality and life. THE HIKE takes readers through a rampage of emotions.
There’s not a single chapter that goes by without a new twists or an unforeseen event. There are giant insects, talking crabs, lustful giants, and even Rottweiler-faced killers. The protagonist’s deepest fears are turned into realities, and within split seconds, important decisions are made.
Many major media outlets have given THE HIKE the highest praise. Publisher’s Weekly named the novel as “surprising… fascinating… worthwhile,” and Booklist states that “Magary’s writing echoes the compelling lyricism of folktales, which juxtaposes surprisingly well with his sarcastic sense of humor.” This witty saga will surely keep you at the edge of your chair.
Now here’s a prepared question and answer with Drew provided by Viking Books.
Your last novel, The Postmortal, was a page-turning apocalyptic Sci-Fi saga, and THE HIKE falls more under the cannon of fantasy and it seems to be rooted in both classic fairy tales and old video games. Was there anything in particular that inspired you to switch genres?
Nah I just try to follow the best idea and not worry about genre. I mean, I gladly would have done another sci-fi book if it had worked out but this was just the idea I ended up chasing. And I swear I’m not one of those annoying people who switches up genres just so they can be like I WON’T BE CATEGORIZED. In fact, I started two other sci-fi books and ended up stalling on them because I just couldn’t figure out how to advance them. And while they sat in limbo, I went to a college in PA to give a speech and before the speech, I walked out behind my hotel into the woods and found myself very much alone. And then I started to worry about getting lost, and bears coming for me, and deranged killers popping out from behind the trees. And suddenly there was a very clear idea in my head, one that I was able to follow all the way through without any hiccups. That’s just how it happens sometimes.
How would you describe THE HIKE in one sentence?
A man goes on a hike and gets very, very, very, very, very, very, very lost.
The novel’s protagonist Ben, an average family man from Bethesda, goes out for a stroll in the foothills of the Poconos and finds himself in an alternate, dreamlike dimension full of talking crabs, flesh-eating monsters, gravity-defying trains, and axe murderers with Rottweiler masks. Were there any artists or books that inspired the world you were able to create?
There’s a lot of influences in there, including old King’s Quest PC games (these were games where you moved from one screen to the next and sometimes clues or important items wouldn’t appear until you randomly entered a house for, like, the fifth time and shit), the Wizard of Oz (because there’s a road to follow), Cast Away (I will watch or read anything about people stranded alone someplace awful), The Princess Bride (which is a great old-fashioned adventure story but has brilliant dialogue and fun characters a kind of modern sensibility and humor to it despite being really traditional), It’s A Wonderful Life (which is fucking creepy as hell at the end, and I liked the idea of a guy being stuck in an alternate dimension and trying to come to grips with it), and more. I didn’t deliberately fashion anything after those influences, it just came out that way.
Both you and your protagonist are the father of three kids, and many parents might have moments where they fantasize about escaping into an alternate universe which is precisely what happens to Ben. Is this idea something you wanted to investigate in this novel? Did writing THE HIKE make you think differently about your own family?
My kids are a little older now, so I’m past the phase where you’re always trying to get time for yourself and accepting that this is how parenthood works. If anything, I tend to be away too often, whether it’s on a business trip (which has become a really lonely experience for me), or whether I’m lost in my own head. And so I guess a lot of the novel is about the idea of drifting away, and not realizing it until you’re not sure if you can make it back.
You are one of the most widely read columnists on the web, you write critically acclaimed fiction, and you’re a Chopped champion. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My family. Okay, are they gone? Can I stop lying now? Okay, now that they’re gone: CHOPPED.
In an interview about your memoir Someone Could Get Hurt, US News and World Report tabbed you as the Internet’s Ranter-in-Chief. For those who haven’t read your columns, can you explain the nickname?
I yell about stuff and use the word FUCK a lot. Also, I have a whole preseason NFL series where I essentially roast every NFL team, and that has a large following.
Between your Deadspin columns and contributing essays for GQ.com, you have one of the most dedicated following of readers of any writer, online or otherwise. Do you feel any pressure to inject the tone of your nonfiction writing into your fiction?
Oh sure. That voice has served me well at GQ and Deadspin and anywhere else where I’ve written, and it comes naturally to me whenever I start yammering on about anything. So whenever I do a book, I want a little bit of that in there to bring in old readers, but it can’t be the WHOLE thing, you know? It has to be a great story on its own. So this book has a bit of that in there, especially with the Crab character, but not so much of the voice that it overpowers it.
From fiction to memoir, professional football to politics, your writing spans a breadth of topics, genres, and forms. What are you working on next?
I think I better write another book, eh? Gotta figure that out.
|Author Drew Magary, Photo Credit Patrick Serengulian|
He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children, and is a Chopped champion.
Thanks to Jazmin and the wonderful folks at Viking Books, I have not one but three (3) print copy of THE HIKE by Drew Magary to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Monday, Aug. 22.
To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever fantasized about taking a hike and finding a different reality?
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