Monday, June 3, 2013

"A Step of Faith"

Last Thursday I finished listening to A Step of Faith, the  fourth book in The Walk series by Richard Paul Evans. The gist of this series is that the main character, Alan Christofferson, decides to walk from his home in Seattle to Key West, Florida, after his wife dies. He meets lots of different people on his walk and has some interesting encounters, but I have to admit that I'm not terribly impressed with this series.

[I usually only make blog posts about books that I like and would recommend to others, but that being said, there was a neat part in the book that made me want to write a post about it. But first I'll mention some of my complaints with the book.]

The long story short is that this book series is just 'fair.' I know a lot of people love this series, but I think the author's writing style leaves something to be desired. I'm not hard to please when it comes to books, but the one thing I AM a stickler on is dialogue. If the conversations between the characters sound contrived and unnatural, then it just spoils the book, even if the story is good.

Another thing that I haven't liked about this series is that the author is just dragging the story out a little too long. I keep thinking, "Surely the story will conclude at the end of the book," but I just finished the fourth book and the story still isn't over. My humble opinion is that it would've been better to make this story into one, longer book, instead of lots of shorter books. I also don't like how the author fills the book with unnecessary details. The book is crammed full of things like what the character ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or what kind of snacks/supplies he bought at the store. Enough with the food, already!

Another complaint I have is how if it's not one thing, it's another (meaning that anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. It's just too much! This guy has to be the unluckiest soul to have ever lived, and is always getting involved in far-fetched, unrealistic situations. I don't want to spoil this book for anyone that might want to read it, but there's a scenario at the end of this book that was so out there that I just had to laugh and say, "Really?!?!"

The thing I DID like about this book was that the main character came through my neck of the woods on his travels. I live in the tiny, hole in the wall town of Barnhart, Missouri, and it was fun to read about the character's fictional journey through my my stomping grounds! Alan Christofferson came to St. Louis in the story, and then worked his way south to Arnold (a town about 10 minutes north of where I live) and then briefly passed through Barnhart. From there he traveled through Pevely, Herculaneum, Festus, St. Genevieve, Perryville, Cape Girardeau and Sikeston (all towns in Missouri that I've been to and am very familiar with). There really isn't anything great about Barnhart (apart from the fact that live there), so the fact that it was mentioned in this book was fun and definitely the highlight of the book.

After Alan passed through Arnold, he stopped for lunch at Bob's Drive-In (a real place that's actually owned by my friend's parents). It was fun reading about Alan stopping there for lunch since I worked there part-time the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. Small world!


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