Book Review: The Yak Guy Project

I’ve been looking at C.S. Boyack’s Yak Guy Project for quite some time, and I finally decided to do it after holding a comment conversation on Robbie Cheadle’s review of Voyage of the Lanternfish.

The Book

51-i6o4afulThe Yak Guy Project
Author: C.S. Boyack
Amazon Link

One of the most impressive things about the indie book revolution is that books which would have been hard to market in ages past – as I suspect a book about an amnesiac and a talking yak would have been – are accessible!  I am THRILLED that I finally get to read a book with a premise that’s pretty out-there.  Not only that, C.S. Boyack tends to get good reviews, and his blog posts give me faith that the novel writing is well-done.  I probably should have bought this indie book earlier, but better late than never!

Non-Spoiler Review

Overall, I’d say this book is exactly why Indie books exist. I feel like I got what I paid for, that I found an indie work with distinctive voice and niche feel that didn’t compromise on quality. There were a few typos, as I’ve kind of come to accept in indie works, but that’s all they were – clearly typos. Formatting was good and the work overall was well put together, so I can’t complain. I’d suggest trying out a Boyack work yourself, if you’re looking for something indie to read (or just something overall!).

I’m not going to lie, though, the book was weird. Something I think was a bold and strange choice that I still haven’t made up my mind about was the main premise. I’ll go over it in more detail in the spoilers portion, but suffice to say here that there were some weird bits that I wasn’t sure if I really liked or really disliked. I think I’m going to lean towards liked, though, because they built on each other so well.

Next, I think this book contained a lot of metaphors and was intended to be didactic. Despite the action and growing political tension throughout, there’s always an underlying theme of nature vs. technology that shined through. I think Ted’s awakening in the desert was supposed to be a metaphor for finding oneself in an internet/technology dead zone. Ted had to find his way back into reality and into real relationships, which is what happens when one looses the ability to connect through technology.

An easier metaphor would have been “Millennials suck and need to learn to get a real life with real meaning,” but as a millennial I’m going to hope that’s not the case. 🙂

5/5 Discoball Snowcones

5 Discoball Snowcones


So, spoilers…

The main thing I can’t make my mind up about is the bullet. Ted wakes up in a desert with amnesia and a bullet in his head, then is quickly met with a talking yak. At first I thought the yak could have been an illusion, but it became clear that the yak really talked and was helping guide Ted. Someone had ordered or asked the yak to go help Ted. There was this idea that he’d get an explanation about the bullet, that we’d understand why he went to this strange, out-of-time world.

But there was never any explanation.

I like this because it fits with the theme of independence and not worrying about the past so well. The yak wanted Ted to care for himself and others, and by the end that happened.  Ted no longer needed to know why a bullet was in his head.

At the same time, WTF WAS GOING ON!? I want to know if it was purgatory or whatever.

Anyway, the book overall was good. I think Boyack wrote well, and I think he’s exactly the kind of person you’d want doing independent publishing.  I think I’ll look forward to reviewing another of his books in the future!

Next week:

Next week, I’ll be doing something special because it’s a fifth Monday of the month!  Stay tuned!

16 thoughts on “Book Review: The Yak Guy Project

  1. coldhandboyack says:

    I know we’re never supposed to respond, but I saw your review on Amazon. I’m so excited you enjoyed the story. I really don’t hate the Millennial crowd. They are a great target to write for. This story is inspired in part by one of my sons who is an habitual drug user, mooches off everyone he crosses paths with, and refuses to hold down a job. He is in his mid thirties and lives with us, because he has no other options. This was my attempt to give someone like him a happy ending. I also wanted to explore the fool’s journey in the major arcana of the tarot. You can see that Ted is the fool, and other characters come into the tale, like the Empress who is always represented as being pregnant. Anyway, thrilled that you enjoyed the story enough to post a review. Thank you.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      First, I want to say I’m sorry for forgetting to do the ratings on Amazon before now. It had always been my intent, but for some reason I forgot (probably because I made the blog post first… I usually don’t do that).

      I liked that I could tell it was clearly metaphorical, but sometimes I’m very bad at detecting exactly what the metaphors are about! I liked the additional information you posted in this response, so thank you for getting back to me.

      (Also, if you looked at my other reviews, you’ll see that I don’t have much of a filter when it comes to bashing a book. Yak Guy was genuinely good, so be proud!)

      • coldhandboyack says:

        Ha ha! Honest reviews are important. If a reader doesn’t exactly get something we write, it could be the author’s fault. I follow your blog, so I’m surprised I missed this one. I’m honored that you read it, and thrilled that you enjoyed it.

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