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The Hike

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  14,167 ratings  ·  2,110 reviews
The Hike just works. It’s like early, good Chuck Palahniuk. . . . Magary underhands a twist in at the end that hits you like a sharp jab at the bell. . . . It’s just that good.” —

“A page-turner. . . . Inventive, funny. . . . Quietly profound and touching.”—BoingBoing

From the author of The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you’ve read before, weaving elements of
Kindle Edition, 285 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Viking
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Drew Magary
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Blue It's about a father of three and (relatively) happily married husband, who goes on a hike/jog during a business trip and finds himself trapped on the …moreIt's about a father of three and (relatively) happily married husband, who goes on a hike/jog during a business trip and finds himself trapped on the hiking trail ("the path") where many dangerous, absurd, hilarious, and at times, rewarding things await him. During his 10-year journey, he learns a lot about himself, his potential for violence and friendship, and even his past. Though on the surface it is a deadly, absurd adventure that plays out like a video game, it really is a physical and emotional journey full of twists and turns, some of which are not immediately obvious. Reading to the very end is certainly very rewarding, as there are some big revelations towards the end.(less)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,167 ratings  ·  2,110 reviews

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Jessica Woodbury
I heard a few rumblings about The Hike from people I trust so I ignored the blurb that made it sound like not really my thing. (A man who'll do anything to return to his family? Snooze.) No offense to the marketing team of this book but you should avoid reading the summary. Completely. Here is what you need to know about this book: you never know what will happen next.

It is very hard to pull off any kind of story where the entire plot is built on doing things the reader does not expect. Because
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4ish stars.

More than a week later and I'm still trying to figure what exactly I read here. Here's what I know:

1) It was pretty funny. Laugh out loud in a couple spots and I'm not a laugh-out-louder (laugher-out-loud?)
2) It was pretty weird. Talking crabs and sexy giantesses are among the best supporting characters and I still don't know why they had to be crabs and giantesses. Kind of felt like Magary was just making up weird, random stuff as he was going along. "Hmm... let's throw in a talki
Justin Tate
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twists and surprises on every page. Deserves shelf space next to Alice in Wonderland, The Odyssey, and other epic adventures. The outlandish plot will turn off realists, but the story is not without literary merit. The absurdity takes on symbolic significance and reveals itself as more profound than it seems. Popcorn entertainment at the surface level, but philosophical and wise on the deep end.

One of my more memorable reading experiences and a title I recommend often. Check it out!
J.L.   Sutton
Drew Magary's The Hike was sometimes interesting and quirky, often in the beginning a bit nightmarish. That said, nothing really felt connected to me. Clearly, The Hike is meant to be episodic, a protagonist struggling against the strange circumstances he's been tossed into in his attempt to find his way back home. I guess, though, I couldn't find myself rooting for him. With that gone, everything (until the very end) seemed random. ...more
Lala BooksandLala
This was quite possibly the weirdest shit I've ever read. ...more
Amazing. If any of you are looking for a pure adventure of unrivaled creativity and depth transformed from utter normality to strangeness and then topped off with a great ethical and moral conclusion topped off at the end, delivered with a really strong emotional punch to the gut, then look no further.

The hike feels, at first, like a silly and sometimes rather funny adventure, starting off with a hike during a business trip. But then it soon becomes a fantasy-land and terror-strewn nightmare and
Librarian Laci
What. on. earth did I just read? This book was awesome in it's sheer weirdness. Highly recommended for getting someone out of a book rut or if you're up for something a "little different". A mind-altering bildungsroman for adults. And you really can't go wrong with a foul-mouthed crab as a side-kick.
 photo foul crab_zpsw4iennn8.gif

At first I was like
 photo wtf_zpsdg7vbvfj.gif

But the end was like
 photo Owl shock_zpsxgxzwajc.gif
Ryan Odom
Aug 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine asking a three year old to tell you a story. The beginning makes since when the kid starts with "Once upon a time..." and the ending is logically tied to the beginning, "They lived happily ever after", but everything in between in nonsense and has no rhyme or reason.

That's what reading "The Hike" by Drew Magary is like. It starts with Ben taking a hike in the woods behind his hotel while away on a business trip. Then all kinds of weird things begin happening to him with scenes transitio
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars since I did read the whole thing, instead of abandoning it, which I strongly considered several times. That was a long under 300 pages story. I was bored by page 60 or so, but kept reading, hoping I'd be entertained. Nope. The best paragraph in the book is on the last page, which reminds the reader of something Teresa said to Ben a while before the whole path nonsense. ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, review-copy
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The best description I can come up with for my mind-bending experience I had with this book can be summed up in the words of Jerry Garcia: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” I had initially agreed to review The Hike with no small amount of trepidation, fearing that it might be too “weird” for my tastes. Can you blame me, though? I don’t even how I’ll do my usual novel summary for this review, because pretty sure anythi
Michael Britt
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not even my worst enemy
I don't even know where to begin. This was one of the most pointless books I've read. I hate being mean in book reviews, but oh well. You know how when a toddler tells you a story and it turns out to be a bunch of random nonsensical events? It's just a jumble of what the child thinks sounds cool at the time. That is literally this book. If it wasn't so short, I probably would've just not finished it. But it was still about 200 pages longer than it should've been. The ending was pretty easy to gu ...more
For what this was (and I don't really know what it was) it was good.
Fantasy or Sci-Fi, not really. Horror, kinda but nope. Humor, yeah but no. Adventure, definitely.
Every single chapter was a surprise, a twist, craziness.

Like if David Wong wrote Pilgrim's Progress...or Alice in Wonderland..or The Road..or a really long episode of The Twilight Zone. It's a mash-up, but wholly unique.

And that was THE BEST ending to a book. Satisfying. Like a low "whoa..." with a smile on your face.
Matthew Quann
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Jaden Daley
Shelves: audiobooks
The Hike is one of those books for which I had high expectations, but ended up falling short. Since I didn't despise the book, I'm going to keep it relatively brief. If you want the headline review: it wasn't for me, but for you, it just might be the cat's meow.

Ben, our lead, goes out for a hike and ends up on this surreal fantastical journey. I'd been expecting a cohesive tale with a tidy ending, but the book is much more random than that. At times, I found myself wondering if Magary wasn't ju
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books come along and unexpectedly push the happy button. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. Maybe it was the fun, the weirdness, the absolute difference and unpredictability within its pages. Most likely, it was all of that combined. Whatever. It’s not the reason that matters. It’s the result.

Here’s the beginning of the story: Ben, a thirty-eight year old travelling vendor, husband, and father of three children steps out the back door of the latest hotel he is visiting in the Pocono Mountains
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone must have slipped a magic mushroom into my dinner; there is no other way to explain the trip I’ve been on! This book is exactly what I needed to read this week and I found it very difficult to put down.

If you had asked me three days ago, I'd have told you this book is probably not my cup of tea since I’m not all that big on fantasy. But my Goodreads BFAM had given it a fun and positive review and I thought what the heck? Boy am I glad I listened to him. Again!

Trippy. Macabre. Madcap. I
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun, wacky, and surprisingly moving book. I listened to the audio while walking my dog (so not a Rottweiler) in the woods for extra hot sauce reading karma. Early you'll think it's going one way, which would've been fine, but then it goes another better way. And with a crab. More crab please.

Oh, and here's a book that cleverly riffs on what playing a quest video game without beating you over the head with see-how-clever-i-am references to video games. Not naming names.

Anyway, read it. Ad
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was awesomely weird and I loved it completely. I even had a wacky quote about about demons and dustbusters but I accidentally deleted it off my phone...

Ben goes out of town for a work related trip and when he arrives he decides to go for a hike. A whole series of weird events happen along the way, from blue crabs to magical beans, not to mention gigantic crickets with homicidal intentions. Okay, it's occasionally gross, but always in that gag-laughing way. I was quite helpless with inappro
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up on a whim as I was walking out of the library. Never heard of the book, or the author, but the cover was cool and the synopsis sounded interesting. And, it turns out, it WAS interesting.

A man on a hike wanders down a path and finds himself in a land of Carrollesque absurdities. He must then go on an epically weird journey to get back home to his family.

At points, the central metaphor seems to get muddied by the random and bizarre things that keep happening, but the novel constantl
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audible
1.5 stars

I like weird, I like disturbing, I like WTF moments in books but this, no this just did not work for me. Some of my friends have loved this so I'm going to drop this one in the 'not for me' pile and move on.

I will say that the audio narration was really good. I had a fairly minor complaint about one of the character's voice but overall the narration is what kept this from being a DNF, well and that it was short :-)
James Beech
Aug 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Wow. Two things. First, The Hike is high as all hell on something. Second, its absolutely bloody brilliant.

The Hike isn't a book for everyone. There will be a lot of people who will finish it with a "wtf did I just read", or DNF it for the same reason. But at the same time, it's got so much potential for 5 stars from a lot of you. Basically, I feel like you'll either love it or hate it. I wasn't sure about it myself for at least half of the book, but then it started going steadily up and up
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An oddball and crazy adventure, one man's fall down the rabbit hole of the 21st century, The Hike is unlike anything else. It's somewhat challenging to describe this book because of just how trippy it is.

Ben is a normal suburban family man on a business trip to Pennsylvania, but things don't stay normal for very long. He checks into his hotel, and looking to kill some time before his meeting, ventures out on a path to take a hike, after being advised by the hotel clerk that there is no hiking pa
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This book is everything. No, literally. It is every horror and hope and human weakness and strength all rolled into one crazy ride. I couldn't put it down. There was so much going on, so many unanswered questions, so many possibilities that I was afraid to look away from the pages for even a moment. It felt as if, while my attention was diverted, The Hike was going to take on a life of its own and change the story on me, or have all been just a wild dream.

I mostly read it sitting outside in a h
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my fucking god. Just.

Oh. my. fucking. god. this book. Wtffffffffffff.

(Edit: looking over this, I'm kinda super spoilery in this review so honestly, don't read the spoiler tags. Go into this without knowing. Resist the urge. It will be so much better that way.)

I think I spent five minutes cackling at the ending because omfg. Omfggggg. (view spoiler)

I'll admit it, before I got to the last couple of chapter
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, favorites
*December 16, 2016. I've updated my review to four stars. In my head, I'm constantly going back to this particular book, and I think the ending alone deserves the full four stars.*

This book was wildly inventive! The sense of imagination Mr. Magary possesses is wickedly vast (but still a bit too familiar). He has created a world of Rottweiler-faced serial killers, a whole universe within a path, potions that turn humans into crustaceans, demonic castles that hide the generically modern hotel lobb
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite interesting, because basically I like a lot about this book, but I didn't particularly enjoy reading it...
Which is kinda left me wondering, how does one rate a book. Let's face it, we all do it mostly subjective, though I like to think that I am quite objective, I can be honest and admit, in the end it's all about how much I really enjoyed reading a book.
And here is the crux when it comes to my rating of the Hike. I kinda didn't care that much for it actually.
Well, let me explain.
Listened on audio when I had a chance to grab it cheap. Thank god I did not pay full price for it. I like weird fiction. I really do. And it started out so great. Ben, a family man in the dark side of his thirties, drives out to the Poconos for a work meeting, arrives early, and decides to go for a walk in the woods to kill some time. As he follows the path deeper into the forest, he sees a gate and leaves the path to check things out. And immediately wishes he hadn't. He interupts a man in a do ...more
Book Riot Community
Ben is a middle class businessman on his way to a meeting in rural Pennsylvania when he decides to take a hike in the woods behind his hotel. To say that this will become the weirdest, most frightening hike of Ben’s existence is a gross understatement. Along the way, Ben encounters murderous half human/half Doberman creatures, a six-foot-tall cricket, a sarcastic foul-mouthed crab, a 30-foot giantess who makes humans fight for sport, smoke creatures, a Spanish conquistador, and flesh zombies in ...more
Jenny Baker
Oddly humorous and entertaining even though it's weird. If you're going to read this, I highly recommend the audiobook. Great narration. ...more
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Ummm, strangely worthwhile. 1 20 Jul 24, 2018 06:45PM  
Around the Year i...: The Hike, by Drew Magary 1 33 Oct 19, 2016 01:33PM  

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Drew Magary is a correspondent for GQ Magazine, a columnist for Deadspin, and a Chopped Champion. He’s also the author of four books: The Hike, The Postmortal, Someone Could Get Hurt, and Men With Balls. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children, and enjoys taking long walks.

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