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Road Seven

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Mark Sandoval—resolutely arrogant, covered head to foot in precise geometric scarring, and still marginally famous after Hollywood made an Oscar-winner based off his memoir years before—has been strongly advised by his lawyer to leave the country following a drunken and potentially fatal hit and run. When a woman sends Sandoval grainy footage of what appears to be a unicor ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Meerkat Press, LLC
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  95 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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He is nearly driven to his knees with entirely average shit like this now: the simple beauty of a sunset, or a drawing of a heart poorly scribbled in a bathroom stall, or a man anguished and gesturing to himself at the right angle of two brick walls. Every day, something threatens to undo him.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Often the best reading experiences are when you pick a book at random, as in this case when my eye was caught by the pretty cover, not to mention the cover blurb about a
Well Read Beard
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
4.5 Stars

I review books. I review books, and I am stumped. I am not stumped on what to say about this book. What I am struggling with is how to review this book without just saying "I liked everything about it" and calling it a day. Because I did, I liked everything about it. There is so much going on here, but it really came down to the writing prowess more so than the story. You could feel the that. I am stealing this from Dianah Hughley right off the back of the book, but it felt meticulous.
In you are in the market for a story about a pair of Northwest PhD candidates searching the hinterlands of Iceland for signs of the fabled unicorn 🦄, then this is your book. If you want to read about drug trips in tiny Greyhound stations and beatings administered in the streets of Portland, this is your story.

Like Rosson’s Smoke City (, Road Seven is very difficult to pin to one category. It’s the kind of book where you think it’s about one thing, but it
Alexander Peterhans
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"Okay, so.
A unicorn.
A unicorn on a pumpkin farm.
A unicorn on a pumpkin farm in a small, beleaguered, mostly forgotten island in the Atlantic.
It was like a shitty Mad Lib."

Hello! I'm not sure what I've been reading the last couple of weeks. I mean, I've been reading this book, of course, but having finished I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. I'm not even sure if I mean that positively or negatively.

On the surface it's a story about an anthroplogy dropout called Brian, taking a job
Keith Rosson
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Possibly the greatest novel about a unicorn sighting that, uh, I've ever written. ...more
This book was a ridiculous amount of fun. Two men, burdened with their own strange secrets, travel together to a tiny little coastal town out near Iceland to hunt an elusive unicorn and wind up uncovering a conspiracy deeper and darker than anything they could have imagined.

You guys, this book is so well written, and is a delicious mishmosh of sci-fi, magical realism, and cosmic fiction. Keith has a wonderful sense of people and place and his pacing is spot-on. I almost hated to put it down and
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed Keith Rosson's latest novel, "Road Seven" about a doomed expedition to find a unicorn on a small island off the coast of Iceland. Mixing various genres, such as psychological, folk and cosmic horror, this story also explores the complex and labyrinthine structures of relationships, whether professional, familial or, yes, even, academic. Grotesquely funny at times, bluntly violent at others, it is nonetheless a very pleasant ride into the depths of unknown horrors, human or otherwi ...more
Road Seven is my first experience with Rosson's writing, and it's an excellent introduction. With the collection of elements involved in this story, in other hands it could have been a strange mash up, but Rosson's skilled writing binds it together seamlessly. Our grounding character, Brian, is relateable and self aware enough to be likeable. The settings, circumstances and other characters serve to pull the reader along swiftly, hitting on cryptids, folklore, alien abduction, and anthropology. ...more
Elizabeth Sund
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The ending is so good, every bit as good as Smoke City.

I feel like this book was written for me and my husband. I too have a complicated relationship with academia, and we have an entire folklore section to our home library. We nicknamed our cat Chupacabra and would love to name a scruffy dog Wendigo. Neither of us believes in anything supernatural, but we both would love to live in a world that's even just a little bit magical. Road Seven is about that constant ache.
Joelle Egan
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-thing
Small presses can provide unexpected pleasures for those who are willing to take a chance on them. Road Seven by Keith Rosson is a well-written gem that provides delicious snippets of lyrical prose, colorful character development and immersive descriptions to a plot that is compelling and unconventional. Brian is a “long-term” PhD. anthropology student wracked with indecision about his future and facing a scary medical diagnosis. Desperately seeking an exit from his stagnation and immobilizing f ...more
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This read is a rollicking, wild ride. It is very well written. It’s witty and it’s funny.

Brian is 30 and is working (not very effectively) on his PhD thesis. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Thanks to his roommate, he sees a help wanted advert from a “monster hunter”. To evade the reality of his messy and stagnant life he applies to see what it entails.

A renowned oddball, Mark, is heading off on an expedition to an Icelandic island where he’s heard a unicorn has been spotted. The help wanted advert
Eugen Bacon
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There’s strength in dialogue, so riveting, it pulses with momentum and edge. Tomes of character, pockets of dry humour filtering through the pages. In Keith Rosson you might have found yourself a new favourite.
Alison C
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brian is in a rut: 30 years old, working on his PhD thesis which seems to be endless, and living with roommates in a grungy part of Portland, Oregon. When one of his roommates sends him a link to a help wanted ad from a monster hunter, he’s at first amused and then decides, “what the hell?” and applies. Turns out a well-known crank, Mark Sandoval, is raring to run off on a wild goose chase to a small island off Iceland, where reports of unicorns have reached his ears, and he needs an assistant t ...more
Linda Hepworth
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d loved Keith’s first two novels, The Mercy of the Tide and Smoke City, both of which were 5* reads for me. Although I was eagerly anticipating reading Road Seven, I did find myself wondering if he could possibly engage and delight me as much with his third. However, after reading just the first few pages and immediately becoming immersed in the compelling nature of his story-telling, I felt totally confident that he could. Yet again he’s demonstrated his remarkable capacity for writing a stor ...more
Jo Quenell
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I fell in love with Keith Rosson's writing through his former zine, AVOW, when I was younger. It's been an absolute treat to now watch him thrive as a weird fiction writer. He grows bolder with each novel, and Road Seven is his wildest yet. A bleak comedy about monster hunters, government conspiracies, unicorns, and the all-too-familiar feeling of escapism. There's also a recurring mention of a television show starring a horny sentient lasagna. Plot-wise, Road Seven shows Rosson at the top of hi ...more
Jill Elizabeth
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a deliriously dark, trippy, head-case of a story this was - I LOVED IT! Keith Rosson has created a cast of characters that is all too believable, not too likeable, and particularly relatable in their apathy, egotism, fears and neuroses. Then he takes those characters on a series of adventures that play out like horror/sci-fi/#AdultingIsHard mini stories that together comprise a novel that is original, interesting, and head-shake-producing in equal measures. It was a helluva ride and one I t ...more
Henri Moreaux
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.

This is a book is a difficult one to pin into a particular genre, it begins looking like one thing, but as the story unfolds further layers are revealed making for an even more interesting story than anticipated.

Interested in a book about two failed PhD post graduate students searching for cryptozoological species? - here's your book.
Interested in a book about mystery about strange goings on as outside forces try to thwart a
Aug 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book for quite a while, it went off on a tangent I'm not sure I cared for and then came back and finished fairly strong. The book has a lot of different feels to it, a lot of Blair Witch Project, a little Stranger Things, I suppose a little Close Encounters for lack of a better analogy. I would really give it 3 and a half stars.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Apr 16, 2020 added it
Brian is a loser -- a thirty-something failing Phd candidate with no girlfriend and an annoying flatmate. He's had debilitating headaches for years that he can't be bothered doing anything about, and is a disappointment to everyone in his life.

Mark Sandoval is an enigma. A best-selling author notorious for his conspiracy theory-laden output, he has mysterious glyphs scarred all over his body, supposedly given to him during an alien abduction.

When Sandoval hires Brian to travel with him to a far
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't get a chance to read much magical realism so call me pleasantly surprised at this extremely odd head rush of a story about two intelligent men who fall short of expectations and are heading nowhere in their lives until...a unicorn.

Brian is an eternal student on the cusp of completing his dissertation and drops out of university to help an infamous cryptozoologist (yeah, I had to look that one up, too) investigate a unicorn sighting near Iceland. He's a non-believer, but ready for a chang
Translator Monkey
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of things you could walk away from this book - what retribution means, how we all learn to deal with our own demons, when to admit our past into our present in order to cope with both - but the one standout for me that I took away when I closed the book was that Keith Rosson is a hell of an author.

Rosson is a story teller, and sometimes - with all the great story tellers - he tries to get away with a contrivance here or there. For the most part, they work, but enough about the o
Diane Hernandez
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, blog-tour
“It was a help wanted ad from a monster hunter.” Who doesn’t sometimes dream of dropping their real life on its head and scooting off to parts unknown? Brian, the perpetual and soon-to-be ex-Ph.D. candidate who lives with vicious headaches and writer’s block, sees it as a chance to escape his sad boring little life in Road Seven.

As with all of the author’s books, Road Seven is non-genre’d. I can’t imagine where it will be shelved in a library. Best to stick with the generic “fiction” but it real
Leslie Barton
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
While Road Seven by Keith Rosson starts out a little slow, it quickly gains momentum and sucks you in.

Brian Schutt, a teaching assistant in his final year of grad school, finds himself questioning his path in life. After receiving a link advertising for an assistant to one of his heroes, Brian applies, and heads out for some drinks with friends. As the night unfolds and Brian receives some startling news, he is surprised to see that his application has caught the attention of the man who posted
Don’t miss out on this one!

I’m not sure I even applied for this ARC, at least it does not show on my list – so anyway, Meerkat Press, thanks a bunch for anticipating my preferences and sending me this fun read!

“It was a help wanted ad from a monster hunter.” And so it goes. The story is as weird, strange and absurd as advertised. Brian, a sad sack of a protagonist, is well-characterized and instantly relatable, and I simply loved his deadpan snarker big sister. Mark, the self-proclaimed monster
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I liked everything except the "Big Reveal". I don't know how I feel about it.

Like, I like the story. Loser Everyman gets a chance to travel the world with a celebrity monster hunter, and everything falls apart immediately. I'm already giving this story the benefit of the doubt, just based on that. Add good writing, realistic characters, believable action, I'm all in.

But the Reveal... I dunno. I'm reminded of the movie Signs... the entire movie aliens have been invading the Earth, and one of the
Lisa Venerussi
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved Keith Rosson’s style of writing; he writes in such a way that you feel like the character says exactly what you would think in the same situation. And so although I have never been a worn down academic with a dysfunctional family who finds himself on a trip to an Icelandic island chasing unicorns, I found the main character so relatable that I was drawn into the story and found myself unable to put the book down. I would have liked to see a bit more about the interesting twist at the end ...more
Sabetha | Aconite Cafe
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
This book is drool worthy. I am once again book drunk thanks to Keith Rosson.

I'll admit, I doubted him being able to top Smoke City. Which is an amazing mind fuck of a book. But Road Seven delivers.

I'm a sucker for fiction books about books/writers/libraries/anything literary so one of the main characters being a washed up writer was swoon worthy for me in reading the blurb. Disaster characters are my favorite characters.

The complexity of the plot and every single character in the story is gre
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Allow me to attempt to describe this book: "So, this guy who is plagued by inertia signs on to be the personal assistant to a famous alien abduction survivor/cryptozoologist/author (who also happens to have some major substance abuse issues), and together they travel to a pumpkin farm on a remote island off the coast of Iceland to search for a unicorn, but they stumble across something far more sinister." I mean, it sounds weird, and it is, but Keith Rosson does weird so well. I'll continue to r ...more
Heather Gadd
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Rarely will I compare a book to another work because I want to make sure an author gets full credit for their originality, but I felt this so much that in this case I will make an exception. There is a very strong “Stranger Things” vibe going on throughout this book, but trust me, it is still wildly unique and has plenty of its own flavor to bring to the table.

From the first few pages I was laughing hysterically and this humor continued right through until the very end. Rosson’s way of writing
Justin Hall
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Think modern day HP Lovecraft. That's all kept drifting to. I don't read very many books about monster hunting and this book was kind of thrilling in a way that I have not experienced in a long time. The two main characters are not quite likeable but the have a sense of humanity to them that you can find commonality with. I want this made into a series or A24 movie like right now. Rosson delivers a good book here. Thanks to MeerKat Press for this book. I am so happy I could read and review yet a ...more
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