Escape from The Front
by Erwin (Erv) Krause

"Finally, the boss-man intervened yet again, and order was re-established if you didn’t count some snickering still hanging in the air. Will took advantage of the lull to request that his pants be pulled up."

At first, readers might think they are about to read something along the lines of a Kerouac or Kesey road chronicle. Then one wonders if it's about to turn into a Child or Connelly thriller. By book's end, it's been a bit of both, and readers are equally satisfied and entertained for having spent time with particularly interesting characters and an author they would be happy to revisit.

In a fairly simple initial plotline, Will gets divorced and fired. Feeling the need to put some distance, plus a degree of self-examination, between himself and his recent life-changing events, he hits the pavement. Traveling by thumb (hitchhiking), he becomes involved with multiple car and truck travelers who, unknowingly and in most cases inadvertently, help him further his education about the variety of the human species. All of Will's highway interpersonal relationships are memorable and relatively benign until he runs into one situation that becomes particularly nasty and dangerous. Before readers (and Will) know it, there's a kidnapping, an escape attempt, a run for one's life, and the need to explain the bizarre adventure to a coterie of recent acquaintances who have actually become friends and more.

Author Krause is a fun writer to read. He's quick with quips, sly with similes, and mirthful with metaphors. This is not to say that he's simply a comedian in novelist's clothing. His cultural debates are more discerning than didactic. His characters are charismatic. He also moves from charm to chaos to calamity without clumsiness. Readers who like novels grounded in reality that transport one to interesting times and places will likely enjoy this one and hope to see more from the writer who created it.

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