Guy's Odyssey

Guy's Odyssey


Fiction - Military
305 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

When you have jumps in time and place, and even the protagonist isn't sure where he is and whether he is dreaming or not, only one thing can save the story. That one thing is good writing. Guy’s Odyssey by Seth Bleuer is a very good novel. That’s because the writing is not only good, but great. It lifts a story that otherwise might be a good action tale or war adventure into the level of great literature. If the writing wasn't great, the tale might be hard to follow. But with a master’s touch, Seth Bleuer creates a book that everyone who enjoys good writing and appreciates the complex subjects of war and the aftermath of combat and what comes after the battle can love and understand.

Rich in imagery and the surreal experience of modern war, Guy’s Odyssey is one of the best novels I have read about the experience of American soldiers in Iraq. I don’t know Seth Bleuer, but I believe he was there in Iraq. If he wasn't, then I am even more impressed with his ability as a writer. The plot, characters, and details are depicted in an authentic manner, free of overkill, or the ineptitude of language use that you find in so many books about war. The focus is on the writing, but the fact that the experience is based on something that American soldiers go through in arenas all over the globe makes Guy’s Odyssey an instant classic in my book. American veterans from all eras will love it. Thoughtful readers everywhere will appreciate it.

Neil A White

Guy’s Odyssey by Seth Bleuer is the haunting tale of an Iraqi War veteran that suffers a traumatic head injury in battle. Alternating between the cold of an Iowan winter, to the searing heat of the Iraqi desert, Mr. Bleuer recounts Guy’s past life experiences, and what has brought him, seemingly, to the edge of insanity.

As Guy continues to self-medicate to an ever-greater degree, his perception of time jumps from one period to another and has him wondering if he has truly found a tear in the time-space continuum, or is he just losing his mind. With this reality warp slowly tearing him apart, he leans ever more on a mysterious journal that he hopes will help solve the puzzle. Part of this time-jump process involves the swirling sands of the in-between. Through these tumultuous scenes, we learn of the painful parting with his childhood sweetheart, the loss of comrades on the field of battle, and, perhaps, the tipping point where he loses his best friend. Will Guy discover the secret to the disappearing sands before his time runs out? Is his destiny already written? Or can an acquaintance from his past provide hope?

Seth Bleuer writes with an urgency and realness that only someone who has endured the living hell of the battlefield could ever hope to capture. Guy’s Odyssey speaks of the utter despair of the modern soldier fighting a war they struggle to comprehend, and of a more intimate inner war that each soldier must fight upon their return. Guy’s Odyssey is a chilling and captivating novel that I highly recommend.

Jack Magnus

Guy’s Odyssey is a military fiction novel written by Seth Bleuer. Guy was time traveling, and he wasn’t quite sure where his next stop would be nor how he would feel when he got there. He had noticed that mostly all the moments in time he visited were bad ones, like that day in June 2006 in Baghdad, when Guy noticed the car up on the bridge that shouldn’t have been there. It’s wrongness had transfixed Guy, keeping him stalled there, watching until the car had exploded, propelling a shower of shrapnel, the force of the blast tossing him into the air and then slamming him down hard against the door of his Humvee. His head received much of the impact and, as his helmet bounced off the metal door, his world turned dark. Iraq was a crazy place filled with contradictions and frustrations; all that got each of the soldiers he was serving with through the madness and the misery was each other. Even the motivation he and his childhood buddy, Mike, had had for enlisting right out of high school -- serving and protecting his country -- seemed to provide little rationalization for why he was out in the blazing heat in a war-torn, rubble-littered city. Each time trip began with a dark spot, his personal black hole, that would sweep him into an in between state where glowing sands seemed to spin and sparkle, that and the pain that wrenched through his head with the force of an atom bomb. With each trip, however, the sands seemed to diminish even as the pain in his head intensified. Guy had no idea what would happen when there were no grains of sand left.

Seth Bleuer’s debut military fiction novel, Guy’s Odyssey, is a haunting and powerful tale about an Iraq war veteran whose traumatic brain injury propels him into a nightmarish time traveling adventure. This well-written and moving military story is unique in that Guy’s tale is fragmented, as indeed his thought processes have been, since his tours in Iraq. The reader shares the experiences that victims of traumatic brain injury may suffer in an intensely personal way. I was stunned by the tension and desperation felt by Guy as he struggles to maintain his reason and his life. The experiences that soldiers in combat go through are hard to fully translate into fiction, no matter how competent and talented the writer, but Bleuer’s tale took me further into that nightmare reality so many veterans lived, and are still living, through. Guy’s Odyssey is monumentally good, and it’s most highly recommended.

JP Kelly

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review, "Guys Odyssey" is an excellent book. It is fiction but felt very real. I served in Afghanistan with the author and the times in combat is so realistic it takes me back to Afghanistan. The book feels a lot like quantum leap meets NCIS. Bleuer has hit the nail on the head with this fresh piece of literature!

Rebekah Ahrens

I can't give this book enough praise. Bleuer's writing brings you into each moment of Guy's story. From moments of danger and disgust. To moments of brotherhood, compassion, and love. His characters feel honest and real. Bleuer's book taught me more about what it means to be a veteran than any news article ever could.