Reviews

 “I’ve done my damndest to rip a reader’s nerves to rags,” Steinbeck said of his novel The Grapes of Wrath. Ysselsteyn has just done the same to me. I read Bus Back to Omaha in three sittings and put it down ten times or more, the better to try and absorb the workings of the lonely, racked and half-wrecked mind of Quinn Jacob. And I knew I was reading quality. Some books speak it to the reader and this is one of them.

The story is a sequel to the unforgettable Taxicab to Wichita and is a scorching sensation that I’ll always carry with me. Ysselsteyn combines moral seriousness with explosive revelations and coruscating wit and does so with a panache that had me reeling all over again.” — Colm Herron, author of The WakeFurther Adventures of James Joyce and For I Have Sinned

 

“Bus Back to Omaha is a psychologically engrossing story that will stay with you for a long time. The protagonist, 37 year old Quinn Jacob, takes a bus ride out to the suburbs (Grey Grove) where he grew up to see his daughter in a play. On his journey we learn many things about him via flashbacks and dreams and a neuropsychologist who comments from time to time in the narrative. The story has a intriguing twist at the end so pay attention (I should also add that Ysselsteyn is a gifted writer whose prose is a joy to read).” — JT Twissel, author of The Graduation Present, Flipka and Willful Avoidance

“A hallucinogenic forest stream of the mind. At its heart, this book is an existential and meta-fictional riff on self-doubt and guilt, but let us not despair, it is also funny and ironic. If you love a good trip, Bus Back To Omaha travels well.” — Duke Miller, author of Living and Dying with Dogs and Handbook for the Hopeless

 

“…All really great art demands that we leave the rote days of our lives behind and take an unexpected journey. Taxicab To Wichita is art of the highest order.” — Duke Miller, author of Living and Dying with Dogs and Handbook for the Hopeless

 

“…Taxicab To Wichita is an epic of the senses, exploring uncharted regions of writing in a way that will stir your mind and challenge your heart.” — Colm Herron, author of Further Adventures of James Joyce and For I Have Sinned

 

“Few authors would have the audacity to even tinker with L. Frank Baum’s iconic masterpiece, let alone take it apart and use the bits to make something entirely new. Kingston novelist Aaron Louis Ysselsteyn is the exception. In Taxicab To Wichita Ysselsteyn’s audacious, radical revisionist vision reinvents Dorothy’s 1890s acid trip to The Emerald City as a 21st Century Kerouacian heroin-driven race across two nations, not from but inevitably into the storm over Kansas, with death riding the right seat. From the very beginning, there are clues in “Taxicab” hinting at this tale’s ties to Dorothy’s Kansas. The clues are subtle but frequent and clear enough that I saw the connection very early on. Other readers may be drawn in subconsciously but not see what Ysselsteyn has done until the last few pages, when the Kansas connection is clearly stated. Oops! Is this a spoiler? I don’t think so. There’s far too much more going on in this novel, too many side trips and pit stops along the way. This novel is no mirror but a drug-induced prism meant to draw you in and keep you until it’s over.” — Bob MacKenzie, author of  Ghost Shadow: Unfinished Sins and Agape: Heaven and Earth

 

“As I was reading this book, by Aaron Ysselsteyn, a Canadian, I started to get the feeling that some of the passages were very similar to Alice Munro, who is also Canadian. The more I read of Bus Back to Omaha, I started to think that maybe there was a peculiar and somewhat quiet Canadian mind of procession; one moment after the next; slightly disturbed details in real time with the writer/character embedded into a scene that is so familiar that we are accepting of the story, because ultimately it is about us. As far as Bus Back to Omaha goes, the plot solves no grand mystery or has a big ending that ties everything together; no good guys and the bad, none of that, only a procession of feelings and thoughts, very personal and almost imperceptible, that finally comes to an end. Just like the naive, somewhat desperate stumbling of a normal life. I wonder if there is a Canadian style of writing that encapsulates these sorts of stories. Hats off to Mr. Ysselsteyn, he keeps good company.” — Matthew A Stringer (December 18, 2015)

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