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 Yak Guy Project
Author: C.S. Boyack
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!
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.
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. 🙂
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, I’ll be doing something special because it’s a fifth Monday of the month! Stay tuned!