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Yesterday Road [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Brennan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Burning Down George Orwell's House
Burning Down George Orwell's House
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Book Description

In this “coming-of-old-age” tale, Jack Peckham finds himself on a journey into his distant past, helped along the way by Joe Easterday, a young man with Down syndrome, and Ida Pevely, a middle-aged waitress with her own mountain of regrets. Jack has a hundred grand in cash that he can’t explain, since he can’t remember yesterday much less forty years ago. Setting out from Northern California for “points east,” he gets lost, carjacked, abandoned, and arrested, but he’s always homing in on the one object of his inner drive — home. With humor and plenty of unexpected turns, Kevin Brennan’s second novel is a lyrical and poignant story of memory and identity, of how it is the whole of experience — pain and regret along with love and pleasure — that gives life its fullness. We all tow our histories behind us as we make our way down Yesterday Road.

Product Details

  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FZX2L22
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,447 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel about memory that you won't forget October 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"I'd rather have all of it back, bad and good, if that's what it takes to get the good." So says Jack Peckham to Ida Peevey as she races Jack to, what she hopes, is his home and family, his longed-for destination. Memory is a major theme in this new novel by Kevin Brennan. Some people, like Ida, feel cursed by the bad things they remember. On the other extreme is Jack, whose memory seems to wipe clean every time he sleeps. In the middle is Joe Easterday, a young man with Down's Syndrome, who tends to remember the good things. The lives of these three characters intersect and diverge on a journey that is at turns harrowing and hilarious.

Yesterday Road is a humorous, poignant, action-filled, meditative literary novel. To describe it with these adjectives makes me feel like I'm contradicting myself, but I'm not. Brennan has managed to write a novel that is as much a page-turner as a thoughtful exposition on memory. The main character, Jack, a man presumably in his 80s, finds himself lost and yet on a mission to "points East" where he expects to find his daughter. He manages his journey mainly through the kindness of strangers such as Joe, who he befriends on a train, and Ida, a middle-aged no-nonsense waitress, who winds up taking both men under her somewhat fragile wings.

Much of the humor in Yesterday Road resides in the scrapes that Jack (and later Joe) get into, the least of which is a carjacking by a former Mormon, cigarette smoking, whiskey swilling outlaw. Then there's Jack's penchant for collecting phrases that he likes the sound of: "Suit yourself" and "Tell me about it." There's plenty of deadpan humor in Yesterday Road, particularly coming from Jack, although not always intentionally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Self-publishing has a problem. A sticky, smelly problem that’s hard to wash off because the stain of poor writing is so embedded, like the smell of garlic in a French chef’s pores. That’s unfortunate because in many cases, there’s no stain at all. In fact, in its place, one can sometimes find a manila envelope full of cash that could even serve as a comfy pillow.

Yesterday Road is a prime example of all of the good things about self-publishing. It showcases an author who treats his work like his baby, making sure it not only has clean diapers and is presentable to the world, but I’ll be damned if it doesn't sing and dance as well. If I could ensure that every reader’s introduction to the new paradigm was this book, I would.

We’re treated to a wonderful journey with the primary focus on that of an old man whose memory is failing him and only a vague notion of where he’s headed. He crosses paths with all sorts of personalities–the most prominent being a mentally disabled boy-man with a big heart and a waitress coming to terms with regrets and responsibility. A cast of minor characters highlight the sometimes dark, sometimes humorous tale of someone seeking identity, who he is and who he was.

Brennan writes in a conversational tone that never gets in the way of the story, but hits all the right notes at the right time. For me, the deep character introspections were highlights.

If you haven’t read this yet, please do, even if you’re normally not a fan of something termed “literary fiction.” I read in many genres, so this wasn't a problem for me, but for those who rarely step outside their comfort zone–good writing is good writing and "Yesterday Road" is one place to find it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday Road by Kevin Brennan December 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this book immensely. I thought that it was exceptionally well written, with a thought provoking, intelligent, and original plot. It was well paced and a real page turner.

I felt that this was the classic journey of discovery, but with one important difference. The character on the journey, to regain his memory of the past, was the one character that ultimately would not actually discover his history. He would simply be unable to retain that information. The supporting characters would be the ones that made the discoveries in this instance.

The main characters, Jack, Joe and Ida, were interesting and diverse in background, and the relationships built during the course of the story were fascinating. It was interesting how these relationships developed differently for each of them, being one sided since Jack could not remember anyone from longer than a day or so ago. So for him, the relationships were purely temporary. I found it very easy to connect with and relate with the main characters in the story.

Despite no backstory for the protagonist, Jack, he still seemed a very full and round character. His innate character and actions were what gave us information about him rather than descriptions of what he was like and his past. I also liked the humour that the author injected into what was a rather sad, but nevertheless uplifting story.

I found myself imagining what it would be like to not be able to remember anything past yesterday and how that would affect me, ultimately getting into a rather convoluted philosophical debate with myself about whether I would actually notice it, or is it just as an outside observer that I can feel such empathy for this character.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, life-affirming story
I recently read 'The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared,' but stopped after a few chapters as I was bored. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Kats
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Poignant
Kevin Brennan has created characters with such depth that I could not help but feel love and compassion for them in reading this novel. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully warm tale of memory and the search for home.
Yesterday Road tells the tale of Jack, an old man looking for something but unsure exactly what that something is. Jack has trouble with his memory. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr Dylan S Hearn
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story!
Such an unusual and poignant story. It's like nothing I've ever read before. It kept me fascinated and it was hard to put it down.
Published 10 months ago by T Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Bough
This is the poignant tale of an old man at the end of his life who goes on a quest, takes to the road, to search for his his past. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Margaret Langstaff
5.0 out of 5 stars The story is peopled that I'd like to know in person
What a delightful read. The story is peopled that I'd like to know in person. This book takes one on a unique journey that warms the heart.
Published 10 months ago by Julianne Hanel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey to the Fiction of Memory
I once read that all memory is fiction. What remains rather than specific details is the perception and the ghost of emotions garnered from that memory. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Patti Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday Road
This was a book that I could relate to because my age is similar to the main caracters age. I enjoyed the story very much and
am glad I was able to read this book.
Published 14 months ago by C. Schaffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, touching, beautifully written: Yesterday Road by Kevin...
Kevin Brennan’s ‘Yesterday Road’ is a wonderful story written with beautiful language, gentle humor, and warm insight. I love the depth of the colorful characterizations. Read more
Published 15 months ago by LuanneM
4.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming and funny read
I picked up this e-book after wandering over to Kevin's blog. An older gentleman, Jack, no known last name, wanders the country meeting people along the way, some helpful, some not... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Andrea W.
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More About the Author

Kevin Brennan, author of Parts Unknown (William Morrow) has rung in the new year in Red Square, performed as a busker in the London Underground, wandered the California desert, and auditioned unsuccessfully for a chance at stardom on reality television. He and his wife live in Petaluma, California.

~Praise for Parts Unknown~


Brennan intricately interweaves several interrelated stories into a lyrical testament to life, love, and redemption. A powerful debut novel from an exciting new talent.

San Francisco Chronicle

A literary storyteller with enormous versatility - poetic and starkly realistic, able to drift among various voices and various moments seamlessly. Add Parts Unknown to the oeuvre of California stories that should transcend the state's borders.

Denver Post

[Parts Unknown] roasts the old chestnut that male writers cannot convincingly tell stories from female perspectives. Brennan does it with grace, wit, and beauty.

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