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Strange Way Out Paperback – August 13, 2013
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In Strange Way Out, Mr. Blackford's voice is crystal-clear and dead-on. It's a bit quirky at times, it's somewhat unique at times and it's very precise and powerful all the time. Mr. Blackford clearly has either one hell of a vocabulary or one hell of a thesaurus. Actually, I can honestly say I like the way this story is told even better than I like the story itself. With Emergent Pattern being my first experience with Mr. Blackford's work, and considering how much I actually liked that story, I almost couldn't help but wonder if Mr. Blackford's creativity was the stronger of his assets. I'm delighted to say that I was completely wrong, and in Strange Way Out Mr. Blackford has laid to rest even the slightest notion of that and proven that his talent as a writer is absolutely on par with his creativity.
In Strange Way Out, the story revolves around a 26-year-old guy named Sammy, who has a secret - at least he thinks he does. One day, as he's going about the routine he has developed to keep his secret just that, he suddenly runs into a major complication. In his attempts to extricate himself from the situation this complication has thrust him into, Sammy has quite the incredible and harrowing adventure. Along the way, he even pairs up with an old school acquaintance who seems to have been dropped into the same adventure through some complications of her own. As the pair work their way through their predicament, it's only in the last scene that the true nature of the circumstances are revealed. Suffice it to say, all is not as it seems.
It was somewhere around the 30% mark that I began to get a halfway decent idea of where the story was likely heading, just after Sammy entered the woods. Prior to that, I simply had no clue what was up (other than the pretty obvious nature of Sammy's secret), rather I was simply totally enamored with the story being told and the mystery of where it was all going. I was a bit off, still, on how I expected it would ultimately end - but the basic concept I expected more-or-less held. I did feel in the 80-85% area of the book, the story got just a tiny bit 'preachy' about the subject matter, but it wasn't anywhere near enough to be off-putting.
The editing of this book is high quality (I only noted two minor typos) and the writing is grammatically solid. Overall, the story being told is very good. The telling of that story, however, is fantastic.
If you're looking for a high-quality, compelling and entertaining short story with all kinds of strange elements, I highly recommend Strange Way Out by Troy Blackford. On second thought, even if a high-quality, compelling and entertaining short story with all kinds of strange elements is NOT what you're looking for, I still highly recommend Strange Way Out by Troy Blackford.
Sammy's twenty-six, lives with his mom, is unemployed and likes to look at things on the internet. Oh, and he likes to hide things in garbage cans. Yeah, that's Sammy in a nutshell. Sooner or later, he's going to have to make a decision...
Despite this, Blackford has rendered him in such a way that you can't keep from being intrigued by what happens to him next. This character is actually loveable and that nails the ramp-up for the suspense later on in the tale because you can't help but care for this odd duck.
[Spoiler]: This isn't part of the story's twist but, since this is a review, and not a preview, I must say that Sammy's drug addiction in and of itself is most interesting. We are never let on to what the substance is, but it is still legal and can be ordered off the internet. Legally safe and easy to procure. Also, it is shown that Sammy does this for no real moribund, cliched reason. He recounts no abusive past, no parental resentments, no molestations, nor is he a wounded veteran with PTSD. Even Sammy can't for certain recall why he chooses to completely opt-out of society. Love how Blackford made a point to render his affliction this way. [End Spoiler].
It's a quick, suspenseful short and I'd love to read more of Blackford's works. This author can craft an exquisite unreliable ego and still make you identify with him. Wish there were more of these "heroes" out there in the literary world. Bizarre, yet not miscreant. Think Pee-Wee Hermann Goes to Hell.
Wow! My favorite writer did it again!! I read this in such a short time just to read it again two days later. This short story makes you forget about everything else while reading, from the beginning right to the very end.You really don't know what you're getting into in the beginning,but it all becomes very clear in the end wich is such a great and wonderful finale! Most of all I really loved the characters wich are very well developed and also very interesting to follow throughout the story.
I would recommend to everyone to first buy a Kindle, then read this story immediately and get all the other books and audiobook by Troy Blackford too! Because this man is an amazing and wonderful writer!
Most recent customer reviews
Was quite short, and some of the grammar wasn't quite "right" (the errors weren't...Read more