Jack always seems to be on the run from something. He has been living in Albuquerque with his girlfriend Skelly, waiting for an opening with the Fire Department. However, a restless spirit has enveloped him and he can’t wait any longer for the call from the Fire Department. He longs to go west and see what California offers in terms of possibilities, much to the consternation of Skelly. Initially, Jack is searching for a conflagration that will be epic, the kinds of fires that usually spark on the west coast.
Jack travels by bus and is soon in San Francisco. The culture shock of his new confines hits Jack almost immediately. The limitless beauty of the Desert Southwest has yielded to the urban sprawl of San Francisco. Jack makes the acquaintance of Eddie and he soon shares a room with him. As the days elapse, Jack begins to explore a side of himself he seldom contemplated, a world free from inhibitions.
The relationship with Eddie fizzles out and Jack searches for an abode of his own. He begins dancing at a local club and scans the personal ads for companionship. Jack’s desires are still debatable, as his time in San Francisco becomes about finding his own identity. He begins relationships with Carrie and then later with Kevin. Carrie is a young woman who exhibits symptoms of self-destruction as well as a longing for love. Kevin is an escort who is attracted to Jack, assists Jack in honing his escort skills, but pushes Jack away at emotionally fraught times.
These tumultuous times in Jack’s life leave him questioning everything he previously took for granted. Where does Jack belong in this world? Who does he belong with? Can he find true happiness?
Rode is a story that keeps the reader guessing until the very end with respect to the actions of the protagonist, Jack. He is motivated, but his ability to stay the course in life and love proves maddeningly inconsistent. Yet, his inner thoughts convey his own frustrations, which may just sync with those of the reader. Jack is a romantic soul who doesn’t want to settle in life one day only to wake up disheartened down the road.
The desire to find contentment may not be easy to satisfy; rather, it is a bumpy and turbulent road to be navigated as one would do while meandering through the streets on a cherished motorcycle. Author J. Adams has written an affecting book about Jack’s attempts to find himself in an often confusing world. It is a wonderful and revelatory read.
|Page Count||400 pages|
|Publisher||Damn Yankee Press|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|