The plot seems simple enough: it is the story of a man’s attempt to get home and find his wife after the long-anticipated “Big One” earthquake more or less levels Los Angeles. As the book’s peripatetic title might suggest, it is more of a philosophical meditation than a thriller – except that makes the book sound much less funny than it actually is. It might be more appropriate to describe The Walk as a kind of anti-apocalypse novel, or perhaps a satire on every disaster movie you’ve ever seen – but like the best satires, it offers some redemption in the end.
The center of this non-thriller is its rather unheroic protagonist, Martin Slack. Marty is a television network executive who is doing pretty well for himself but also realizes the emptiness of his work. He had once hoped to be a writer and even made decent headway on a novel, but most of his time is now spent giving “notes” on rehashed scripts in snooty restaurants. He is also married to a woman he loves, but their relationship has come to be dominated by their inability to have a child. As he comes to reflect near the end of the book, the symbols of his life have become “the blank page and the semen cup.”
Thanks so much, Unfanboy!