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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Escapist is a work of adult fiction on complex interpersonal and socio-political themes of the pre-Trump era and was penned by author David Puretz. Containing graphic moments of language, sex, and violence, the novel presents a frank look at the life of one young man in America in the year 2011. Twenty-one-year old drug user Billy Chute has a kind of epiphany by the side of the road, in which he becomes resolved to find his father. So begins a journey that hurtles him toward both redemption and self-destruction, exploring the themes of external and internal influence on the psyche as well as the idea of freedom itself.
Author David Puretz has created a highly literary and poignant work that tells many tales through its single-character narrative. Billy Chute's story is, on the face of it, a relatable and cautionary tale that many of us will be familiar with, dealing with his own demons as he seeks out his father to resolve the trauma of his past. But in doing so, Billy also becomes a vehicle that shines a light on the conflicted nature of America itself in the year 2011 and a dangerous prediction of the time which was to follow. Puretz writes with frankness, but also creates scenes for the reader to look upon and make their own judgments about the nature of why we, as humans, do both good and terrible things to ourselves and others. Overall, The Escapist is an accomplished work worthy of great praise, both for its excellent writing style and its apt perspective on our current sociopolitical time.