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Alice Isn't Dead: 02/14/20
Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink is the novelization of the podcast of the same name. My husband listened to the podcast and I bought the book. Having only heard the first episode of the podcast, my review will strictly be of the novel.
Keisha Taylor drives a truck for a living. It's a second career, one she started after her wife, Alice, went missing. She's been told to assume she's dead but Keisha refuses. So, instead, she searches the highways and points in between.
On a particular day in a particular roadside diner, Keisha sees a horrible monster of man eating eggs in the most disgusting way possible. It gets worse from there, with her witnessing the man kill and eat another man. That is her first run in with a Thistle Man.
From then on, while Keisha looks for her wife, she finds herself being followed by Thistle Men. Knowledge of their existence leads her to find other oddities along the road, namely the shady nature of Praxis, the company she ends up working for, and roadside Oracles, who if you look just right are hidden in plain sight at rest stops.
With doing my best to avoid spoilers, I can say that Keisha Taylor's journey is on the road narrative spectrum. The unveiling of how the road and the three forces I've mentioned interact is also unveiled through the spectrum building blocks.
Since the title says it and it happens to be true, Keisha and Alice do find each other, and for the bulk of the book are a traveling couple (33). Their destination is home (66) — the normalcy of a time before the road became an evil threat to them. Their route is the interstate system (00). It's the apparent safety of the interstate with its sameness, it's rest stops, it's fast food, that makes it the perfect place for evil to thrive. Alice isn't Dead is the tale of a couple trying to get home via the interstate (336600).
I will do a more in depth analysis of this novel when I get to the essay on this type of road narrative story.