Review of On The Run by Izai Amorium

Hi Everyone! Recently, I had the privilege of reading an ARC of Izai Amorium’s second novel entitled On the Run that is to be released on 9/6/16. Below is the Goodreads summary followed by my review!

Goodreads Blurb:
New York City, early nineteen-nineties: a young, rich, and well-educated Central American man on the run from the police and Colombian drug dealers. He is accused of crimes he didn’t commit. Ready to do what it takes to survive, Pablo ironically embraces the very drug trade that threatened his life in the first place. Who is he? What is he really capable of? The question of identity is at the heart of On The Run. More than a contemporary story of survival, it’s a journey of self-discovery.

Review:
After reading the first few pages of Izai Amorium’s novel On The Run, I was immediately intrigued by the narrator Pablo’s dark sense of humor and paralyzing fear of dying while wearing dirty underwear. I found Amorium’s choice to include the narrator’s each and every thought to be refreshing and unlike anything I had read previously. However, as the novel went on, I became less than captivated by the plot. Despite my love of the unique and authentic voices of each of the characters, I found myself being more irritated than inspired by their actions. I quickly became frustrated with the incessant discussion about fate, Mad Dog’s constant preaching, and Pablo/Birdy’s superiority complex. Furthermore, Pablo’s journey into the drug dealing world was less thrilling than I anticipated. I found myself constantly waiting for a gut-wrenching plot twist but what I got instead was a to do list of what Pablo needed to do in order to maintain his charade as a PSMT.

Despite the faults I found with the plot and character development, I was very impressed with Amorium’s exploration of identity and self-discovery within such an unlikely context. Pablo’s journey expertly demonstrates just how fragile our identities can be and highlights just how far we, as humans, will go in order to survive. Moreover, Amorium effortlessly humanizes the world of drug dealing by focusing on the authentic relationships formed throughout this enterprise. As ridiculous as Peter may have found the idea of Pablo and Mad Dog talking about love while they counted money and made cocaine packages, Amorium centered his novel around this very idea and easily created a story that is truly on another level.

Overall, I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to review On the Run. Amorium’s writing style is unlike anything I have ever encountered previously. Although I was a bit disappointed by the way the plot played out, I was very moved by Pablo’s search to to reconcile his many “legends” and figure out what it means to be Pablo/Baldy/Birdy.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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A special thanks to Netgalley and Mr. Amorium for providing me with an ebook in return for an honest review

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