cover of The Journey by Mark Rasmussen

“The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Raiden, an emotionally troubled 40-something guy, is at a major turning point in his life. Rather than choose to face it head on, he undertakes an epic road trip adventure across North America, all with the aim of escaping the single most transformative event of his life – imminent fatherhood.
Searching for solutions in all the wrong places and faces, Raiden is forced to turn the mirror back on himself and shine the harsh light of reality not only on his quest, but into the very depths of his soul, to discover what it is he truly seeks.
While he does his best to find the answer, the impactful events he experiences along the way will reveal more about Raiden and his nature than the strange assortment of characters he meets on his overland odyssey.
Ultimately, The Journey is a story that no matter how far you run, your demons always follow.

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My Review of The Journey

This isn’t my usual reading stomping grounds, but if there’s anything reading widely has taught me, it’s to give books outside my biggest interests a chance. I’m often glad I do, and this is another book I can add to that list. The title is “The Journey,” and I couldn’t think of a more fitting name for this book. It’s about a road trip of sorts, but the journeys present in this story are far more than just galivanting across the U.S. Interesting characters and places make for an arc I won’t soon forget.

This book made me think, which I always appreciate. I will admit that I struggled with some of the main character’s decisions, but that’s one of the beauty of books—they can offer insight into people and situations we may never otherwise experience. Struggling with a character’s choices keeps me engaged in the story, wanting to know how they resolve their conflict. It also forces me to look at why I struggle and how that struggle relates to my own life. After all, if books don’t offer a window through which to view experiences, what are they doing? Long story short, there is a lot to unpack in here, and it enhanced my reading experience to work through it all.

Definitely recommend this one if you’re seeking a thought-provoking but still entertaining read. Doubly so if you’re an Elvis fan. The songs that accompanied the protagonist (and reader) on the journey were a neat way to view situations. Having the option to listen as I read was very cool. I didn’t take advantage of it because I don’t do listening multitasking well, but the idea that I could have the song playing felt like an immersive experience that was just waiting for the right moment. Give this book a try—you won’t regret it.

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