“Eventually, the rain subsides and people begin to emerge again and I feel my anger subside. The sun comes out again and I shake my clothes and squeeze out my sleeves, until all that is left are the raindrops on my face, clinging there like tears.”
Author: Gavin M. Gross Published: 2017 Pages: 306 (A5 paper)
This novel is the true story of a man who received some devastating news, and rather than let it hold him back, he decided to stop wasting his life and go and travel the world instead. The narrative follows the author, Gavin M. Gross, on his adventures around the world through many different countries in an attempt to turn his life around. Gross goes from country to country embracing new experiences and meeting new people who make him see the world a little differently.
This book had so much potential to be great, but after about 100 pages, it just became the same repetitive narrative. I really thought that his writing was, for the most part, eloquent and clean, but I think the problem was in the lack of variation to his words. He tended to repeat the same phrases with slightly different wording every time he was in another country. This was okay at first because it reiterated how he was feeling, but after a while I thought it came across as just a lack of creativity and simply that he could not think of anything else to say. He also seemed to have the same routine of going to a country, going for dinner, meeting a girl and then moving on to the next place. Needless to say, I became tired of that rather quickly.
There was also a bit of an arrogance to the narration which I did not enjoy. For example, when he constantly states his hate for tourists (despite being one himself) I found that increasingly irritating the more he said it.
One thing I will say is that Gross manages to include some relatable moments. When he talks about the struggle of trying to save a fragile relationship I think this is a situation that he could use to connect with readers, as I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. He also describes the cities and countries which he is visiting with beauty, and enough factual information that reading about them feels like you are learning something more about that place in the world.
Gross also does tap into a feeling that I think most people will have felt. The need to escape. This alone would be enough to keep a reader interested, so it is a shame that other things about the book overshadow this.
Maybe if this book had been a novella instead, or maybe if it had something more exciting to the plot other than the same repetitive routine, then I might have liked the book more. I don’t doubt that Gross is a very good writer and he has the potential to do something wonderful, but unfortunately, he hasn’t quite got there yet.