Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARC Review: Seriously... What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew by Ken Schneck

Seriously...What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay JewFrom the blurb:

ESCAPISM TO ADVENTURE (FOR NON-ADVENTURERS) 
Does the geographic cure actually work? Through a fast-paced journey of saying “yes” to the unfamiliar, pack your bags and set out into the world with a gay Jew determined to answer that universal question of “Seriously…What Am I Doing Here?" Never having been on an adventure, he finds himself stumbling twice into rural Uganda; signing up for a 425-mile bike ride; stirring up drama at a Californian hippie, healing retreat; and somehow standing up straight with a colossal backpack strapped to his shoulders deep in the backwoods of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This occasionally heartbreaking, often insightful, and reliably witty travelogue has at its core our never-ending search for meaning, our desperate need to grasp that elusive sense of place and community, and how we often fail to succeed (sometimes hilariously so) but keep right on trying.


Heather's rating:





When I read the blurb and some details about the author, I knew I had to try this story. I mean, I'll pretty much read any story that involves my home turf (aka, a Jew from New Jersey), and I was super excited to see where Ken Schneck would take me.

Ken Schneck is naturally funny and engaging, and you'll automatically want to be friends with him (especially if you like Jews from New Jersey!). I liked reading about him and his adventures because he went to some seriously interesting places. I was really curious about how he would fare in Uganda, on an AIDS bike ride, and on an intense camping/hiking trip, especially since Ken is funny, impulsive, and chronically underprepared.



If you want to read about a likable guy doing adventure-types of actives, then this book is for you. However, I couldn't help but feel like some greater point was missed. There were some mini-breakthroughs mentioned, but I was expecting some more personal growth, not just a travel diary. I had trouble connecting the stories to one another and I didn't get a sense of cohesiveness.

What I liked most about the story was when Ken was being honest and funny and didn't seem like he was writing for an audience. There were moments of greatness, but I think I was expecting more from this collection of diary-type stories.



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