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4.0 8
by Jeremy C. Shipp

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It's time for blueblood Bernard Johnson to leave his boring life behind and go on The Vacation, a yearlong corporate-sponsored odyssey. But instead of seeing the world, Bernard is captured by terrorists, becomes a key figure in secret drug wars, and, worse, doesn't once miss his secure American Dream.


It's time for blueblood Bernard Johnson to leave his boring life behind and go on The Vacation, a yearlong corporate-sponsored odyssey. But instead of seeing the world, Bernard is captured by terrorists, becomes a key figure in secret drug wars, and, worse, doesn't once miss his secure American Dream.

Editorial Reviews

Book R
This is a headtrip worth taking, and a short, fast-paced one at that. It's full of lines and passages worth more than a few post-it notes, but really, the whole thing is worth a reread. There's something energetic and purposeful about every string of words here, telling the reader when to stop and go and pause for a minute...Get your hands on this one now.
Book Reviewer
Shipp's prose is stripped down to pure muscle and anger. But there's a polished literary tone at work here as well, with lots of heavy-duty references to highfalutin' litrachur. It's like finding T. S. Eliot's early punk-rock record. Vacation is remarkably polemic and didactic, but Shipp's conviction is convincing. He directly addresses the myriad forms of injustice in a plot that is part nightmare, part science fiction, part literary essay.

Product Details

Raw Dog Screaming Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.38(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy C. Shipp is an author whose written creations inhabit various magazines, anthologies, and drawers. While preparing for the forthcoming collapse of civilization, Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse. He’s currently working on many stories and novels and is losing his hair, though not because of the ghosts. Vacation is his first published novel. You can visit his online home at www.jeremycshipp.com.

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Vacation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, I have thought about this a lot over the last two days. In light of my last review, I wanted to be fair and yet, not over compensate. I vacillated between three and four stars for a while, but due to the fact that the book actually caused me to give up sleep (I stayed up until midnight reading the last few chapters, I had to see how it ended), I felt that it deserved the upgrade. On my first attempt at this book I quickly became confused and frustrated at where it was coming from. This was mainly due to two factors as far as I can ascertain. One of my issues I am convinced was the fact that I started reading the book in an environment that was less than conducive to concentration and this was exacerbated by the fact that the first few chapters give you a lot of information that makes sense later. It's all a lot of, "you'll see" in the beginning. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that at times you will feel as though "you don't know who you can trust", but that is part of the charm and engagement of the story. I would say that by the end of chapter six he had me hooked. At that point I thought I knew where the story was going...I was wrong...but it had captured me anyway. I loved the author's use of mentioning various works that make the reader think, "Oh, I loved that!", or "Hmmmm, I'll have to read that now!" From Lovecraft to Bronte, there are many such references within the story. His mention of Mr. Rochester especially touched a warm place in my heart, that being my all time favorite novel. Make no mistake, those of you who are no fan of Jane, this book is absolutely nothing like a Bronte novel! It is a dark thriller with a sci-fi feel and a "green" touch. I am very glad that I gave Vacation another chance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not terrible. I think most of the people I know wouldn't find it appealing, but it was an entertainig story when you let yourself get into it enough. But that was sometimes difficult to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Readingrat More than 1 year ago
Vacation was my first foray into the bizarro fiction genre. I wasn't sure what to expect when starting this book, but soon realized that all expectations simply fly out the window anyway. Bernard Johnson, a 35-year-old English teacher decides (in an early-mid-life-crisis kind of way) to spend the next year of his life "finding himself" during a government sponsored world Vacation. On this Vacation, Bernie meets up with a beautiful woman who used to be one of his male students; is visited by his dead sister; and finds himself dumped into an alternate reality where the ultimate battle for truth and freedom is unfolding. Hold on for the ride of your life, the twists and turns never end and constantly leave the reader having to reshuffle what they think is real and what is a dream. This expertly crafted story manages to be both phenomenally deep and highly entertaining all at the same time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Shipp takes the reader on a psychological head-trip through the eyes of Bernard Johnson. A thirty-five year old intelligent man with a wild, incredible imagination. Bernard is tormented with his dreams, fantasies, and nightmares. The reader is taken through the door of a magic carpet ride of adventure, but the ride doesn't end there. The ride continues from the magic carpet of fantasy, through the doors of the haunted house of fear. Each reader will be taken through the same journey, but if they dare to go a second round, they may experience a completely different feeling than the first ride. Vacation is a thought- provoking, surrealistic first time novel, created into a dark fiction masterpiece. This adventure story through the mind of Johnson is disturbing, provocative, and challenging. Shipp covers every segment of human emotion to perfection, leaving the curious reader in total darkness. Reading Vacation is like watching one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest brain-teasing movies, where the reader is confused. This unpredicting story of one man's journey is a powerful, bizzare, roller coaster ride into the human psyche. Vacation demands the reader to begin this journey once again, and for each reader that takes a second ride, Shipp's mission is accomplished. His sole intention is to make sure the reader hasn't missed anything. The reader is left with questions, not answers, and is forced to solve this puzzle of mystery. Is Bernard Johnson battling with depression? Does depression take over? The author draws a fine line between fantasy and reality through the wandering mind of Bernard Johnson, as he struggles out of his comfort zone. I recommend this novel to all readers who enjoy dark fiction, combined with challenge, and suspense. However, one must be as daring as Jodi Foster was in 'Silence Of the Lambs.' Bear in mind that she was warned, 'Don't let Hannibal get into your head!' May I remind you that he was a clever psychiatrist, and she was forced to take that risk. Shipp invites his readers to take that risk, while riding that roller coaster of madness through the psychological journey of Vacation, reminding readers that the greatest risk in life is not taking one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bernard Johnson started out as teacher and then he became a lesson plan writer, sort of like a teacher for teachers. He had the constant feeling he would not be where he was in life if it were not for his father. Bernard never felt courageous or independent, and now he was starting to fall out of love with his much younger girlfriend Hillary something had to be done. That is when the idea to Vacation popped into his head, he needed this, he needed to find himself. While on Vacation a lot of strange things happened. Lucid dreams plagued him, images of a sister he never met talked to him as if she were there in person, and a student that once was male and taunted Bernard was now a woman. An attractive woman none the less, and now they were semi-friends. Until one day when an injection would turn his already increasingly strange world upside down ten-fold. I can not begin to explain all the weirdness Bernard experiences from Chapter eight on. I am honestly not sure what to think of the novel Vacation. Personally it is too hard to get a grasp as to what is going on for me. Thoughts and events seem to run together and don¿t make sense sometimes. Vacation to me is a young adult read with the occasional obscenity I say this because it would be something a YA would enjoy and find humor in most parts and suspense in others. Jeremy C. Shipp has a way of painting the picture he wants portrayed to the reader perfectly. The characters were very colorful and well detailed. His storyline was not of my tastes exactly but I am only one person and so far he has received rave reviews for Vacation. There are twists along Bernard¿s journey that kept the book interesting, and stepping into Bernard¿s mind proves mind-boggling all in its own. Mr. Shipp is an exceptional writer, and hopefully later in the future we will cross paths again.