Truck Stop Earth
Now, here's a book that stands up and demands to be noticed! There's something very refreshing about a novel written in the first person in an extremely colloquial narrative voice. Our hero is a refreshing indigent man who goes by the name of Jimmo. He's the type of character you'd make the mistake of saying “hello” to over morning coffee, and you wouldn't be able to get away from until midnight. Jimmo has survived several alien abductions, and he's always got his eye out for agents of the extraterrestrial forces that have been ruining everything (global warming is on them for example) in recent memory. However, apart from the belief in aliens, Jimmo seems pretty normal. Most of the folks who believe in alien conspiracies believe in other, less socially acceptable conspiracies, but Jimmo is not among their number, which makes you almost want to believe him.
This is a not easily categorized novel, like all the great ones are. The alien talk makes it science fiction, but I couldn't help wondering the whole time if maybe Jimmo was just pleasantly crazy. Oddly, I found myself reminded of “Into the Wild” a little bit, as Jimmo makes his way to Alaska hitchhiking and pontificating on human nature. Along the way he manages to score a few pleasant trysts with the characters he meets on the road. These played out like scenes from Charles Bukowski's “Women.” I'm willing to bet there are no other science fiction novels listed on Amazon that evoke reflections on those two particular titles.
I think I liked the survivor component of Jimmo's story the most. This was a guy without a penny to his name as happy to live in a tent as sleep in the dirt or a five star hotel. He goes from job to job and knows what regulations he has to obey and which ones he can push a little bit. This is the type of person you might make the mistake of dismissing, but these people have their doctorates in human nature and that comes across loud and clear in 'Truck Stop Earth.' Also, I think if there are aliens on earth and there are people who get abducted, the exact type of character to put a stop to it all is a guy like Jimmo.
Pick it up for your sci-fi (I've learned some hate that term) loving friends, but also give this book to your students of human nature. This is a great story for travel, because unlike the crazy guy at the coffee shop, you can close the covers when you need a break...then again, my bet is that you won't want to.
Grab a copy on Amazon here.
Check out Perseid Press here.