Commentary

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“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)

“A road trip ramble of a novel with a narrative perspective that’s two parts teen punk and one part middle aged philosopher. Ysselsteyn puts poetry to the meandering thoughts that any major dude with a street-drug habit has had while high. TTW is crammed with astute observations on art, riffs on crime, criminals & law enforcement, solved riddles and advice on addiction.” — Uncle G (September 10, 2014)

“I found the writing to be very alive and mind massaging with well thought out phrases and solid development of characters. I was not left struggling to remember who was who as I find that bothersome in readings of other authors. It’s quite distracting to lose the storyline. The timing (as in actors or comedians) was bang on, explosive,entertaining and smooth in its transitions. Thank you for the “Starship” journey. Look forward to seeing more works available from this up and coming contemporary artist/author. — Anneliese Fritz (August 29, 2014)

“Read it on the beach, couldn’t put it down. What a great summer read!” — Claude R Gauthier (August 21, 2014)

“What a great ride & read to Wichita! The story captured my full attention from the opening line to the last line read. A bit like watching a game — I was rooting for Quinn and Rocky with each turn of the page. I could have kicked Quinn in the a$$ a few times – he can be ‘too inside his own head’ to realize all the gifts that Rocky was giving him – there’s partly a reason for that but did wish Rocky had been given more glory moments – a few times I saw it coming and then taken away. I also wish Rhonda had a longer ride – more of a storyline — for Rocky’s sake. Grab this book and get ready for a great adventure!” — Chay (August 10, 2014)

“This book has become one of my favorites. It’s not everyday that you find a story that not only offers a relaxing escape, but also gives your brain something to chew on while you’re not reading. The author weaves in subtle jokes, poetry, philosophy, and literary references that have incredible depth while still being digestible. This story provides an opportunity to not only look at the characters in the book, but to look at yourself and your own choices with a different perspective.” — Jones (July 10, 2014)

“I devoured this little gem in just over a day. Fascinating story. Great storylines. Interesting ending. What a great ride. This was easily the cheapest taxi fare, with the most entertainment, to ever come out of Eastern Ontario.” — Hammy (July 8, 2014)

“Pulled me right in and kept me fully engaged till to very end which was perfection. Marathon read, couldn’t put it down.” — mary miller (July 4, 2014)

“I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and right up front, must tell you that I’m a consummate biography and documentary fan – not so hot on fiction. That said, I looked forward to reading Taxicab to Wichita and just finished it at 10 to 2 this morning – after a five day marathon of racing back to this book in between sledge-hammering and tearing out our kitchen – it kept drawing me back, and I was happy to get to it. Kudos and thank you, Aaron Louis Ysselsteyn, for this unique and innovative literary contribution – I did not want it to end – and now that it has, I can’t stop thinking about your characters and the story that unfolded.” — JP Rayne (June 30, 2014)

“It would seem that the majority of my five-star reviews contain some applaud about writing a unique book that doesn’t exist, but that’s just my thing, and I can’t point it out enough when it happens. Someone once told me that we are all just retelling the same stories with different voices, and so many times that is true, so I seek out these books that are unlike anything I have ever read before.

In Taxicab to Wichita, Ysselsteyn redefines the consensus of what a suspenseful, somewhat thrillerish novel is. And that’s really what this book is to me, a somewhat thrillerish thing, mostly because I don’t even know what to call it. Genres be genres, I don’t really know what it is, other than a literal take on dark fiction about two damaged souls that feed off one another on the road to self-destruction. It is tragic and hard to read through the surreal perspective of a person that is not necessarily seeing reality the way the typical human being in that situation – or in any situation really – might.

Ysselsteyn is an inventive storyteller, and I’ll be watching for the next genre-defining piece of literature he puts out.

**I was provided with a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.” — Allison Burke (June 22, 2014)

“This is a remarkable read. It doesn’t tick the boxes that many novels do – like vampires, sex, fantasy, hatred or revenge. The fact is, Taxicab To Wichita is in a box all by itself. I have never come across a book like it. Life, death, hope, despair – and then a denouement that had me reeling. This taxi ride is a thrilling journey of the mind that tells of two compelling characters I will never forget.” — Colm Herron (June 22, 2014)

“I just finished my TTW marathon. All of my senses were fully tapped and I closed the book with an immense sense of satisfaction. Brilliant, deep, wise, fearless, insightful, inspiring. Aaron is a Shakespeare of modern times. His prose and words and insights and passive aggressive way he has with stretching the brain beyond its normal realm is just simply magnificent! Bravo, bravo, bravo! I stand and applaud you Aaron Louis Ysselsteyn.” — Julia (June 21, 2014)

“I’m so happy to buy this book and have it as mine forever! It is one of my many favorites. I’m excited to read it again and again!” — Brittany Johnson (June 6, 2014)

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“A vaguely surreal and yet believable on-the-road novel, full of wonderfully twisted metaphors and comparisons and occupied by two characters who manage to be likeable and relatable without being saints or stock depictions of archetypes. It is to its credit that I did not see the ending coming, despite what were, in retrospect, clear foreshadowings (yeah, I was an English major – I really do read books that way…)” — Timmybear (July 17, 2014)

“[Spoiler]! I loved this book! Read it cover to cover. Could not put it down. Highly recommend.” — Denise Arsenault (July 11, 2014)

“Taxicab to Wichita hooked me right away with such immediacy I found myself unbound to time and up all night reading. A great story combined with Ginsberg-esque commentary that grinds reality down to its bare bones with stunning accuracy. Best book I have read in a long time!” — MJ (July 10, 2014)

“I devoured this gem in just over a day. I couldn’t put it down. Excellent storylines, compelling characters, great ending.
Easily the best piece of fiction to come out of Eastern Ontario with a modern slant. At least, I hope it’s fiction……
The most cost effective cab fare with a high entertainment factor.” — Hammy (July 9, 2014)

“I love this book! The use of dialogue allows readers to easily visualize the story as it unfolds. Quinn Jacob is portrayed in such a genuine way. This piece of literary fiction will translate very well to the big screen. A must read for those who enjoy action-adventures.” — Stephanie (June 18, 2014)

 

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“Taxicab to Wichita kicks off really quickly and before you know it, you’re sitting in that Cab with the two main characters following and learning more about each other with them. Once you start it’s really difficult to put down and mid-way through the book as a reader it’s really easy to come to your own conclusions as to what the ending might be. However, the twist at the end was an extremely pleasant surprise which I felt really added a whole new depth and character to the novel. I really love a book which ends well as it definitely leaves you with a satisfied feeling (glow) and TTW definitely delivered!” — Anonymous (July 18, 2014)

“Just finished TTW and it was amazing. Loved the characterizations, the post-punk existentialism of the convergence/divergence and most of all loved that at the end the whole thing comes together and all the little pieces come together to create the full mosaic.” — Anonymous (July 5, 2014)

“Taxicab is one of the best books I’ve ever read! Exhilarating from start to finish, humourous, and touching. The story is woven perfectly with so much depth and richness it’s impossible to put down. If you read one book this year it must be Taxicab.” — Anonymous (June 6, 2014)

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“Local author and musician Aaron Louis Asselstine releases his debut novel (well, second written, but first one published) and produces a warped and wonderful road trip story. I do wish it were something more original than the story of a junky taxi driver conveying a bank robber from Ontario to Kansas. Where is the adventurousness and risk-taking in narrative? (Yes, sarcasm)… Along the way, they encounter unusually sentimental Customs officers, thieves with a penchant for Chinese food, and Youtube entrepreneurs, as could only reasonably be expected. Some of the similes and metaphors in this book are just so out there that they remind me of the Internet meme of ‘bad’ comparisons written by high school students, many of which I wish I had penned and used. A reference to an ‘evil little air conditioner’ just about made me spit up my ginger ale. I am not going to ruin the ending, except to say that the author’s style and unparalleled narrative voice managed to make it a surprise, which is not common when it comes to me (I realize that sounds egotistical, but I’m just that kind of reader), particularly in light of the book’s ample foreshadowing. If you want On The Road as written by the love child of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace (and you know you do), I recommend this volume to you wholeheartedly.” — Tim Murphy (blogger, Kingston, Ontario)

 

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“I bought this book on my Kindle and read it in less than a week. This is surely a book I’ll be reading over and over again, each time presenting a new meaning to me. Thank you!” — SchoolOfRock87

“I loved this so much I read it twice. Thank you!” — lucybailey1

“I read this whole book in a day because I couldn’t stop. It was fantastic. It was personal and I could feel that, is this available in hard copy? I know a few people that would love it but hate ereaders.” — manicfaerie8705

“Words can’t explain how amazing this book was. I loved every single chapter and I’m definitely buying this book to read the full version. You are talented and creative and you have written the best book I have read on Wattpad. Well done my friend, this was beautiful and exciting…” — nervouswreck

“This book is just beautiful. From start to finish, it held my attention and demanded to be thought of when I wasn’t reading it. A lot of the stories I read on wattpad seem to be amateur (not to say not good, but lacking, incomplete, don’t line up, etc.) but this story… This is better than most published pieces I have read, sitting up there with my favourites. You have a discernible voice that stands out among the normal stories one tends to find today. You didn’t tell a love story or a story of revenge, or even of sex, like most stories seem to focus on. You told a story of 2 men, on a journey and learning from each other. Of growth and hope and life and death and introspection and changes. It’s raw and real. I love it. Definitely going to read again. Is it available in paper form?” — OctoberJade (Oregon, USA)

“This was just amazing. Probably the best book ive read on here really. Not just saying because I had the best time reading it, but the plot, the set up, character development, the end (!!!), the hanging in the bar stuff, the language usage… Also some powerful ideas to just think about. The writing… Was just beautiful. Thank you.” — fforfabulous

“…one of the most emotionally draining books I have ever read. I wish its beauty upon everyone.” — Njerish (Nairobi, Kenya)

“I cannot even begin to describe the emotions I felt reading this. Thank you so much!! Your originality and creativity will forever inspire me.” — RavennCori

“This book was great! It wasn’t like any other book I’ve read. Sometimes it felt like I was reading poetry. It got me thinking about stuff and I learned many things too…” — eternity123

“…This story is thought provoking on its own but for me, just now, it really helped me understand some things. I just wanted to say thanks for the perspective.” — arcflash

“The single most compelling book I have ever read. I truly believe I will never find a book as good!” — venomoipui

“I wasn’t too sure at the start, by the 3rd chapter I had to go back to the the start… Then I couldn’t put it down. As the story unfolded, it evolved into a beautiful, honest and soul-wrenching raw experience. A real gem, thank you for sharing.” — MiaColgan (Dublin, Ireland)

“…I enjoyed reading this adventure. At times it was like reading poetry that just enveloped me. Could not put the book down! It was quite thought provoking… at times raw and made me feel uncomfortable – I really liked that as it kept me on the edge of my seat and [I] came away at the end feeling like another onion layer of life had been peeled off! 🙂 I love a good read that challenges me to concentrate and think and reflect. Thank you, it was just what I needed as a mantra to focus on this week.” — SDM_READER

“I loved this book it was not only a great read but a fantastic piece of art…… compliments to the author” — anisha1195

“I really enjoyed your book. I would so go see this if it ever became a movie which I think it should. I read it all in one sitting. I had such a good time with Rocky and Quinn, I gotta say every time they lit a cigarette I let on like ‘OMG what’s going to happen next’. I was so not expecting the ending. Such good work!!! ;-)” —Wyllene Smith (Los Angeles, California)

“…It’s insightful and you know it’s a good story when it ends and you feel a dark hole in your heart. I really loved the metaphors… even though they were sometimes a bit advanced for me to fully grasp. Thank you for a great roadtrip story. The best.” — ishouldhaveknown (South Africa)

“This is my first comment ever on wattpad, and I just want to say this: thank you for writing this story.” — mawati76

“…I never knew I could actually read a book like this with all those emotions going on. But I just love its every twist and turn. And I love how it ends. Great write!” — ronnel_hachero

“Great book! I sat down and read the whole thing today. Great way to spend a rainy Sunday. It really took me away from myself and allowed me to get lost in the story line.” — kiriss09

“Wow! Just wow! That was absolutely amazing! I literally couldn’t put it down!” — Kimba (Massachusetts, USA)

“Started reading this morning. It’s now almost 7pm and I have [spoiler] on my mind. This is beautiful.” — Sage Ivans

“What an amazing and well written tale… your story comes at a poignant time for me. Great story, great art. Thank you.” — season977

“Truly amazing book. I decided to read some more, before school starts, and I luckily chose this book with some of the others I downloaded. Normally I don’t go for books like these, I’m more into fantasy epics… but this one caught my eye. I live in Kansas, and just the fact that it had Wichita in it’s title made me consider reading it. And boy am I glad I did! Thank you for such a wonderful experience!” — Fredulicious

“I am new to wattpad and am glad that I decided to start with one of the Featured Stories, yours. You have heard this already, I am sure, but this is a story meant to be read in one sitting. In fact, it cannot be helped. I love how you are able to tell a story with details that encompass both a road trip and key events in the tragic lives of two young men. And like any great story, this is done with humour, wit and insight. I wish you success with this and future novels. Thank you!” — geometria27

“This is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It made me laugh… It made me think, and the finale brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing this with me…” — Brushfyre

“This was amazing. Was not sure whether I would like it at first, as [its] not the sort of book I would usually go for. As it turns out, I could not stop reading [and] completed in a very long single sitting. Words cannot describe the cleverness on this book. You realise, I am jealous of you at being such a talented author, I have an inability to express my stories on paper. You should publish this book!!! Although the end was sad, I couldn’t help smiling at the cleverness of it, nice [spoiler] twist. Thank you for uploading it, definitely a thought provoking read xx” — Anna96 (Lancashire, England)

“These last few chapters were so incredibly amazing, they left me hanging on every word. I have to say, every character truly shined, and definitely conveyed their brilliance to me. Very wise, the way you write, it’s something so unique… so natural and simple, but at the same time so powerful and leaking with symbolism. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication… I am quite sad the story is over, I enjoyed reading parts of this everyday during my spare time 😉 I hope you will be writing more?” — Lily

“WOW! I read this story in one sitting and it was amazing. I was hooked from the start, the characters and descriptions, everything just worked perfectly together and the plot was totally different! Will definitely be reading this again!!!” — uniquexpuzzle

“Dear Sorrowful, Even though I’m only halfway through your story, I just had to stop and comment on your astounding story-telling skills! The array of words that you possess is absolutely stunning, as well as your character development, it’s pure genius. It gives me such great pleasure (and honor) to read your work… just to listen as your story unfolds. ‘Taxicab to Wichita’ is a poignant and brutally realistic tale. In my opinion, it should be placed into the hands of a movie producer that is hungry for originality! Please strive to arrive to where you should be with your gifted writing, and never ever stop writing. You can only get better (if THAT is possible). Your friend, Nora.” — NORAJC56

“Tense moment well-portrayed, first-rate crime novel or thriller language appropriately used. Voted.” — John Reginald

“This tale moves, sparkles, moves into the dark and then sparkles once more.” — OwainGlyn (Wales, UK)

“This is starting to remind me of J Hunter Thompson with more self-control – and that’s a good thing! I love how you invest ordinary details, like the girl’s eyes in the kiosk, with magic… as always, voted.” — Alison DeLuca (West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)

“Oh dear. I had a feeling something like this was going to happen. Though after this is all over, he should sue the US government. He answered truthfully. Just saying.” / “What a cliffhanger! I am so glad I didn’t happen to read this until the next part was posted :)”— Carolina (from Canada)

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