The Trip Into Milky Way

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
720 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Trip Into Milky Way, a historical coming of age story set during the late sixties and early seventies, is written by Gary Paul Corcoran. Clay is precipitously bounced out into the world when he decides to buck authority one day and wear moccasins without socks to school. His principal suspends him, and his father throws him out of his house. Any plans he had for college are gone and, to make matters worse, his lottery number guarantees him a tour in Vietnam. Clay reports as ordered when he's notified, but, as he's waiting in line, he decides he just can't go through with it and walks away. His friends and girlfriend tell him to do the right thing and follow through with his commitment, but they're not the ones with the draft notice.

Gary Paul Corcoran's historical novel, The Trip Into Milky Way, is a big, sprawling coming-of-age epic worthy of its title. Clay is a counter-culture Odysseus, whose travels and adventures are tinged bitter-sweetly with a longing for home and love. There are magical moments spent on the beaches in Hawaii, filled with the camaraderie of fellow travelers and philosophical discussions; and episodes of paranoia and fear, as the feds seem to pop up wherever Clay goes. The Trip Into Milky Way is more than a historical novel; it's a marvelous time machine that kept me enthralled for hours on end. Corcoran's masterful writing makes every nature scene and landscape glow and come alive. Now that it's finished, I'm feeling a bit bereft and already missing Clay, Kip, Eric and the Indian family who gave him a home. The Trip Into Milky Way is one of those rare books that I'll find myself reading again and again -- it's that good.