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From the enchanted shores of Hawaii to a sojourn with his lover Caroline on the deserted beaches of Matzatlan, from incarceration in a Mexican prison to the daring helicopter raid that follows, Clay has but one thought on his mind; to find a place in the sun for he and Caroline to hide. Driven in equal parts by a rebellious streak and his hopelessly romantic nature, Clay hardly considers how this flight from justice might affect his love affair with Caroline, but he is soon to learn that no man can outrun his own karma, as even in his valiant effort to go back and rescue Kip, a friend left behind in the Mexican prison, death and disaster find him, leading Clay to this despairing realization. Dying for one's country may well have been easier than the path he is on.
Resigned to his restless odyssey, but with few places left to hide in this world, Clay meets a host of colorful sixties characters who help guide him along the way, among them Stan, a world weary chopper pilot from Vietnam, Faith, an expatriate slumming in sleepy San Blas, and Eric, a Bhagavad-Gita toting friend from his past, each of them playing a role in Clay's quest for enlightenment yet unable to provide him with lasting peace he so desires. Only when Clay flees back to the wisdom of Jijiwa, a Papajo Indian shaman he has befriended in the mountains of Sonora, does the mist of bewilderment begin to clear from Clay's heart. But will his newfound wisdom reveal the keys to rescuing Kip? And will the principled Caroline and headlong Clay finally find a place in the sun to share? "The Trip Into Milky Way" ends in a touching conclusion of this vagabond's epic journey.
Posted August 9, 2014
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.
Posted April 6, 2007
This novel is a fascinating journey that a young man named Clay Matthews undertakes. As one reads, Clay's emotions can be vividly felt the moment the draft notice arrives in his mailbox. From that moment a journey begins, as a young man travels towards his goal of liberty and enlightenment. Along the way, a series of adventures unfold with a multitude of twists and turns.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.