October 2, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Hello, friendly readers! Do you like puzzles, intricate details, and mythology? If so, then today’s review subject, The Wash. has your name on it! This book touches Mayan, Mexican, Mormon, and Native American spirituality for its powerful forces. These gods have some big business to take care of, and it’s going to go down right in the middle of nowhere.
The Ogden Wash is a small desert town, roughly 20 miles from anywhere in the state of Utah. It’s also a pass-thru town for people driving to Arizona. There’s one traffic light, one diner, one garage, and one bar. Jim’s is a nice little place to have a few brews and catch up with your neighbors. At least on the outside it is. Jim’s is also the home of a large drug dealing operation, which is kept quiet. This starts the pot bubbling for big things happening under the surface of all the quiet everyday lives most folks are living. Strange events, like a giant ball of brown recluse spiders appearing in the A&M garage, and a coyote stalking the residents, gets tongues wagging. It’s when a young man disappears, that people start getting nervous.
But, like I said, things are intricate and the chapters go all over the place to make things interesting. There’s a surprise romance, soul searching, and spiritual connections happening. Some chapters are made up of just action. It is my assumption that the author is intending to keep things cryptic in order to keep pages turning. That’s okay, but the big problem is that not everyone who reads this book is going to possess pre-knowledge of the mythology that Christopher’s writing depends on. When you take on the stance of the omnipotent writer, you have to assume that your audience knows nothing unless you have proof that they do. For example, for better or worse-Target now stocks Day of the Dead merchandise and decorations. This means that the average American at least recognizes it, if nothing else.
After the young man disappears, The Wash roars on, but the farther along I got in the book, it just felt like a lot of galloping around. There were clues here and there, but a lot of it relied on knowledge that isn’t common. So there was a lot of back and forthing on my part. The more I had to work, the less enjoyable the reading got. But I am just one reviewer in a huge world and according to reviews I read elsewhere, this is an awesome book. So readers, in this case you need to check out The Wash for yourself. I’m not rating it or recommending it because I couldn’t make a solid connection. These are just my thoughts, your experience may be totally different. In fact, I hope it is!
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