After getting rejected on what was supposed to be his successful life plan, author Matt Fox decides that he no longer has to be bound by expectation and that he now has the opportunity to do whatever he wants. A friend casually brings up the idea of hitchhiking across Canada over drinks one night, and despite the reservations from his family and himself, he creates a new path for this life into the unknown.
The Hitchhiker Man is a fairly quick read with short chapters and a story in constant motion. Make sure to stop and read the quotes included at the start of each chapter, as they help set the tone for that particular chapter. It's clear that Fox spent a fair amount of time crafting the narrative of the book as he reflected on his adventure from years ago.
The roller coaster of emotions that Matt goes on while hitchhiking feels very authentic as he questions why he ever decided to hitchhike in the first place, but then finds some comfort and feels relieved that he took the chance. It's relatable to the ways of life and especially to a young person trying to figure out their path in life.
One of his motivations was to see the beauty of Canada he has only ever dreamed of seeing, but what he also finds is the beauty of humanity. Though coming in close contact with the dangerous side of humanity more than once, the majority of the people Matt meets are kindred spirits wanting to show some kindness. Many of the people who pick Matt up quickly ask if he smokes and start to right then and there. This seems like too much of a coincidence, but may just be probable characteristic of the kind of person more likely to give a ride to a stranger.
This leads to a warning about this book for younger readers. There are abundant depictions and references to drugs and alcohol that readers should be aware of before reading. This subject matter is not apparent from the synopsis but is throughout the book, and those it is not suitable for should skip this book.
That being said, I would recommend this book for those with Wanderlust. The Hitchhiker Man takes readers on a path thousands of kilometers long, and they will revel in the twists and turns of Matt Fox's hitchhiking adventures.
Sarah is a freelance book reviewer in the Greater Chicago area. She has a lifelong love of reading and learning and believes that books can change lives. Her goal is to work with and help authors bring their writing to a community of readers.