- File Size: 639 KB
- Print Length: 210 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 17, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FZX2L22
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#927,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #780 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Alzheimer's Disease
- #2536 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > Literary Humor
- #8035 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > General Humor
Yesterday Road Kindle Edition
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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. But underlying that humor is sadness because Jack really can't remember much of anything, not even his last name. My heart ached for and with Jack as I went along on his journey to find, not just his family, but himself.
Brennan has enviable skill in character development. Every character got his or her due attention, but of course, the portrayals of Joe, Ida, and Jack are the ones that will stay with you long after you finish the novel. Brennan writes with particular empathy about these three people: Joe, with his Down Syndrome, at once a child and yet capable of independence; Ida, with her regrets and her obligations that impede her efforts to help Jack and Joe, although she manages to do all that she reasonably can; and Jack, with his ever-fading memory, his tenuous grasp of reality, his warmth, his kindness.
I have only one criticism of the novel: I thought Ida Peevey was introduced too hurriedly. It was almost as if Joe and Jack had just stepped into the diner when Ida began to assume control over their destinies. It felt abrupt and not quite believable until a bit time later in the novel. Ida has her reasons for feeling protective toward Jack and particularly toward Joe, but I didn't at first understand her willingness to risk her job just to help them. This isn't a major flaw by any means, and Brennan does satisfy the reader soon enough when more of Ida's life is revealed.
I am going to rate this novel as 5 stars, which something I rarely do. Simply, I loved Yesterday Road. It wasn't just a funny story, or poignant story. It wasn't just a great story. It was a story that made me think: about the role of memory in how we know ourselves; about how we perceive others who seem different; about whether we can or would help a lost soul, or just leave them to flounder.
So, do yourself a favor and purchase a copy of Kevin Brennan's Yesterday Road. Reading the novel is a wonderful experience.
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.
Under such terminal pressure, looking death in the eye, the recapture and review of one's past, the memory of even lost memories, becomes of utmost importance, becomes the Holy Grail, the Golden Fleece, the Golden Bough of one's life.
Yesterday's Road is a beautiful tale, moving, memorable, and very nicely and humorously told.
Most recent customer reviews
am glad I was able to read this book.