So I realized after the fact that it’s pretty easy to find stories set in my current city, but when I think “home” I think “Texas” which is how I ended up Googling “new books set in Texas” and how I ended up reading Hollow, by Owen Egerton. It’s not a bad book, especially not the first two thirds or so. It’s just that by the end I was a whole lot of blinking-white-guy.gif. It goes more than a little off the rails.
I appreciate that while this is a book set in Texas, it’s not a western or a “modern” western or cowboys of any kind. The setting just kind of happens to be Austin, but really, this book could feasibly take place anywhere. After three decades of seeing my home state stereotyped, I was a little grateful for that. Also, man oh man, that cover is gorgeous.
Interestingly, this book could be seen as parallel to my most hated book of the year, The Shack. All American white guy suffers tragic loss of a child, spirals, resurfaces clinging to something that really makes no sense. Heck, our guy is even a history of religion professor, this could have skewed Gag Me 2.0 really easily – but it didn’t. Nope, instead, Dr. Professor loses absolutely everything and finds himself clinging to … the hollow earth theory.
Yup. Adam Young’s (hi, Good Omens!) little Tibetan monks tunneling through the earth. An evolved civilization living under the crust of our plant, held to their surface by centripetal force and I guess sheer force of will. The hollow earth stuff is even compelling as all get out (and oh man, his whackadoo friend who gets him into it is a trip), it’s towards the end of the book as his Adventures in Homelessness really start to spiral out of control that the book falters.
It’s kind of a “why not” kind of read. And sometimes that’s all the reason I need.
Bingo Square: Home, Something, Home