Jill's take on The Grand Tour by Adam O'Fallon Price
I'm going to say this right away, I LOVED this book. I loved the movement, I loved the characters and I loved the pace of the whole thing.
The characters in The Grand Tour are deeply, deeply flawed. They are those people that you have in your life that you sort of wish maybe weren't, but then you feel like you should be the better person and try to help them. But that's the thing, they don't want help nor do they think they need help.
The Grand Tour weaves the tale of what it's like to be failing at everything, including life itself, at various ages. It's also about the stories we tell ourselves and the world about our lives and who we are. There are moments where the characters could make different decisions and where you as the reader are imploring them to do so, but then they make the wrong decision and you sit by and watch. It's a well written train wreck of people that are trying to figure out their place in the world and how to interact with others. It's particularly interesting because they all are failed parents or the offspring of failed parents and see themselves in each other.
The story could become cliche and cheesy, but it doesn't. Yes, there's a sparkle of redemption for almost all the characters, but it isn't heavy handed. It's sort of a whisper of redemption amongst a roar of actual life.
I unabashedly devoured this book and enjoyed every minute of it. I think you would too.
Zac's take on The Grand Tour by Adam O'Fallon Price
I really enjoyed this novel. It was one of those novels that you start reading in the bookstore just to see if you want to buy it but then suddenly you realize it’s been five minutes and you start to think that you are cheating on the other book you have sitting on your nightstand or in your backpack so you stop. You look at the cover. You look at the back cover. You add it to the pile of “yes” books to take home. Then a few weeks later when you start to read it in earnest, I mean monogamously read it, it seems familiar. You wade out into the first parts of the novel and probe the bottom with you toe. With each step you test to see if there is a sharp drop off into the unknown.
It’s a story of desperation, of cruelty, of alcohol abuse. It’s a story about success coming late in life. Too late in several cases, but not too late in others. The main character who is bent on his own destruction in a Bukowski kind of way, and his adoring fan who is lonely and just starting out in life making his own bad decisions.
The descriptions of drunkenness are very vivid and clear and the desperation and pain of many of the characters is on full display. There are a few surprises and some redemption, but the ups and downs and reversals all feel very real.
In a perverse way, it's frequently refreshing to read about people who are completely fucked up. Not only does it make you feel better about even the smallest thing you perceive to be wrong in your life, but it gives you something to root for, to cheer on. Because deep down inside you want these characters to make the right choices and to do the right things and to be happy and successful. Isn't that what we all deserve?