Friday, December 24, 2010

book review: The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

I must admit that Richard Paul Evans is one of my favorite authors.  I have read many of his books before and found at least some level of enjoyment in all of them.  The latest book, The Walk, however has sort of left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  I want to start off by admitting that I didn't read the book in the traditional sense.  I listened to it on CD at work.  I think that it is the best way to enjoy one of his books, because as talented as Richard Paul Evans may be as an author, he is just that much better at bringing his stories to life through narration.  If you come across one of his books where he is the one reading it, I suggest you give it a try.
OK, lets start off with the book.  The first third of the story is a heart wrenching tale of love and loss.  I imagine there will be a lot of misty eyes, when tragedy strikes Allan.  I have a few qualms with this part of the book.  Although it is a truly touching love story, somethings kinda require the reader to suspend belief and worse fill in the missing details for oneself.  First off, Michal, Allan's wife, asks him in one scene for some money to be transferred into her account.  To which Allan confirms that she hasn't been keeping up with the bills.  This leads the reader to wonder if there may be some deep rooted meaning behind her lack of financial responsibility or what she has been doing with all the money.  Almost as if there could be the possibility of some dark undercurrent to the relationship of which the protagonist is unawares.  But, this topic is never fully broached.  It is not really discussed until, just days mind you, after his wife's untimely death that Allan's home is foreclosed on.  Can you say huh?  Foreclosed on and he didn't see it coming?  How did that happen you ask?  Well, your guess is as good as mine, because the book doesn't give you a clue.  Another Hollywood moment is in the book where Michal just happens to be in her accident while Allan is in the middle of the biggest sales-pitch of his career.  Of course he has to run out and leave the meeting in his, supposed best friend and business partner's hands.  And that moves us on to that partner, Kyle.  How exactly did Kyle steal the company in the short time Allan was out of work with his wife?  How does he expect to run an ad agency when he is the business guy and Allan is the ad guy?  Again the book gives you no clue on these sort of important details.  To suspend belief even further, the only friend Allan has left is Faline, a super-gorgeous model with a heart of gold that Kyle hired to be office manager.  At one point in the book she tells Allan she is going on a photo shoot, even though she is a full time employee of Allan's company.  On top of that she handles all of his financial affairs, of which he is either too grief-stricken, naive, or just plain in too much of a hurry to get out on the open road, to do himself.  One of which is to check and see if he even has any money in the bank before using in debit card.  All of this, of course, after Allan tells her he is basically closing down the company and she won't have a job anymore.  Can you say far-fetched?
The last two-thirds of the book reads like an old Franklin W. Dixon Hardy Boys novel.  All the main character does is eat with every waking breath.  Evans goes into painstaking detail to describe every little detail of this walk....monotonous detail.  One of the characters that Allan meets on the road is a waitress with a name tag that reads Flo.  I won't delve into this too much for those who haven't read the book, but her story is stole directly from Evan's novel Finding Noel...almost word for word.
With all these flaws I have mentioned, I haven't got to the most egregious yet.  I had to check my copy to see if I hadn't gotten the unabridged version.  On Amazon is the first time I saw that this was just part one of four.  No where did I see this mentioned.  I must say that it was a big letdown.  Almost feels as if the publisher is taking advantage of the reader.  The next book in the series will not come out until April 2011.  My question is six months from now will anyone even care?

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