This book is interesting and important in many of its qualities. Primarily, the author Philip Scott Wikel, shows that back in the 60s, with things turning upside down and inside out in individual and social lives in the developed west, two young people didn’t let their sanity detach from the normal and traditional, while also moving ahead with a new spirit of the age. Morgan and Livy – the main characters – are thus simultaneously conventional and unconventional youth of a time when breaking the convention was becoming a rash convention in itself.
Ticket to Ride is a work of great creative and artistic merit, especially when you consider the different styles of narration so flexibly and with perfect literary ease blended together such that various stories set in different times and places are read as self-standing events, and yet are expanded upon later to arrive at a complete end without expressly answering the questions that arise in the reader’s mind. The stories are mostly showing than telling, something highly desirable in literary fiction.
The lead characters hold life and warmth of living it as a dream. A few are unique or quirky, like Psalm, until you actually see what led them there. There is lots of imagery in the book, and the experience of reading really emulates a ticket to ride in the literal sense with descriptions of travel presented in the style of literary journalism, beside journal entries by the main characters. Morgan and Livy also love to fantasize, so much so that Morgan finally has a brief conversation with Herman Melville along a beach. Imagination and love for wisdom at its peak!
Also enjoyable are many snippets, excerpts, and quotes from celebrated works of literature and most popular songs (Beatles remain alive throughout the book). If one must name any weakness of the book here, it must be the typos that are spotted here and there. But the charm of the book is not in the least shadowed by them. From page one to the last line, Ticket to Ride is a treat for the reader with the taste.