The author sent me this book and asked if I might be willing to give it a read and a review. And me, being the guy who can’t turn down a free book, took him up on it.
Also, me being the guy who doesn’t actually do any sort of reading up on books to know what they are about or what sort of genre they are or anything before beginning to read a book, went into it completely unawares of what I was about to find.
I don’t know if I can quite suggest you go into this book quite as unaware.
It’s a good book, possibly even a great book. It’s incredibly well written, the concept is novel, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it before.
That being said, there are certain parts of this book that are quite unsettling. If I hadn’t agreed to read and review the book ahead of time, I’m fairly certain I would have set the book down never to pick it up again at numerous stops along the path toward the final resolution.
But the real question here is, should you read it?
If you can handle some unsettling imagery regarding death and dismemberment (not a large amount, mind you, just enough to definitely stick out in your mind), then yes, I would wholeheartedly suggest you read this book.
Now here’s the issue…the reasons I would suggest you read this book (outside of the fact that it is quite well written and very good at pulling you deeper into the story, even when discussing rather disgusting events) are reasons I don’t know I should actually reveal. They’re something of surprises that you find along the way. Even the official description of the book doesn’t really give you a good idea of what you’re getting into.
So, when you start reading it, all you get is that there was some sort of plane crash, and a journal discussing excitement about an event called only G-88. G-88 is talked about quite heavily throughout the text, but isn’t actually explained until the moment the event comes up. Things actually start to fall into place quite well at that point, but until then, I’ll admit that I really couldn’t gather how all these pieces fit together.
Or maybe I just didn’t want to.
Huls takes a rather standard story type, specifically that of a coming-of-age style road trip and turns it on its side a bit, giving us a glimpse of what the world of white privilege can look like at its worse, at how a couple of young boys can be absolute sociopaths simply because they come up in a house where nothing is really expected of them.
Of how boredom can lead men to absolute insanity…while still allowing them to appear to be completely normal human beings.
Ayahuasca contains two of my least favorite protagonists of all time. All I wanted was for someone to come around and put a bullet in their heads from nearly page one…But I really had a hard time putting it down, even when I really really wanted to.
So, if you like having yourself challenged in a read, I’d definitely say this is a book for you. If you like books where the winners are spotless and the bad guys wear black hats, then this probably isn’t one you want to pick up.