Apr 07 2009

Road to Nowhere by Christopher Pike, Part I

Published by Whitney G at 6:31 pm under Christopher Pike,Old School

Road to Nowhere
Christopher Pike
1993, Archway

Road to Nowhere

Death came alone for the ride…


  • Teresa Chafey — our protagonist; running away from home after catching her boyfriend in bed with her best friend
  • Bill Clark — Teresa’s boyfriend
  • Rene Le Roe — Teresa’s BFF
  • Freedom Jack — hitchhiker
  • Poppy Corn — hitchhiker
  • John Gerhart — character in Poppy and Free’s story
  • Candice Manville — character in Poppy and Free’s story

My Thoughts

Let me warn you: this book pisses me off to no end. It’s sanctimonious and smug and anvilicious. It’s also told almost entirely in stories (shades of The Midnight Club). Road to Nowhere was always my friends’ and my least favorite of the “classic” Pike novels, and I swear it’s even worse now, reading it as an adult. I just wanted you to be prepared for the steaming pile of hate that I have for this book. On with the recap!

My Recap

First of all, Pike dedicates this book to his mother. If I were Mrs. McFadden, I’d be like, “Gee thanks.” Did Pike’s mom beat him or kill herself in front of him or something else to deserve such a shitty book in her honor? If I ever run into Pike on the street, these are the answers I’m going to demand.

Road to Nowhere begins with Our Fearless Heroine, Teresa Chafey, running from her apartment in the midst of a storm. She’s got an overnight bag with a few clothes and $90, and she’s running the hell away. Teresa lives in Los Angeles and is going to head to Canada. Usually when people want to run away from something, they go to the other country bordering the U.S., but whatever. She’s almost on the freeway on-ramp when she spies two hitchhikers, a young pretty couple. Teresa never stops for hitchhikers, but for some reason she stops for these. Probably because they’re so pretty. We all know that pretty people are never, ever bad or evil. The male half of the couple calls shotgun, leaving the young woman to sit in the backseat with their bag. Who said chivalry is dead? Although personally I’d rather have the backseat, so I could stretch out and nap.

The guy introduces himself as Freedom Jack, but Teresa can call him “Free.” The chick is Poppy Corn. If I were Teresa, I’d be all, Great. Hippies. Poppy asks if she can smoke, and Teresa says sure, even though she hates cigarettes. Well then, grow a pair and tell her no, dumbass. Free says they’re heading to San Francisco, where they have a “gig.” Free is a magician (illusionist!) and Poppy is his assistant. Poppy crashed their car into a telephone pole, forcing them to hitch. Poppy and Free also want to visit family on the way up — Free wants to visit his mom, and Poppy wants to visit her dad, who is a priest. Free shows Teresa a card trick and then wants to stop at a convenience store for some snack food. Poppy wants a carton of Marlboros. She is bored, and so am I.

In the store, we are treated to a description of Teresa. She has light brown hair and blue eyes, and is five six and “thin with great legs and clear skin.” She has small breasts, but Pike assures us that it’s all OK because they fit her small frame. Good to know. She eats a ton of candy and never gains a pound. Wait until you hit 25, kiddo. Her lips are lush, and she smiles a lot. But lest you start thinking Teresa is too beautiful, Pike stops you right there: her nose is “a shade too big for her face.” OH THE HUMANITY. She should just take to wearing a paper bag over her head to spare the rest of the world the repulsive sight of her face.

Anyway, Free tries to buy beer, but the cashier asks for his ID. Free says he lost his license and gets all defiant, but Teresa calms him down by saying it’s not worth the trouble. They leave with their candy and cigarettes, and Free offers to fill up the car while Teresa sits and chat with Poppy. Poppy asks Teresa if she wants to talk to her father the priest when they get there, and Teresa asks why in the hell she’d need to talk to a priest. Poppy tells her that he’ll listen to her confessions, and Teresa says she has nothing to confess. Poppy calls bullshit. Free gets into the car with his beer, explaining that he found his license. A likely story.

They drive and drive, and drink beer, and Free entertains Teresa with card tricks. This is all so goddamn boring. Finally Free suggests that they pass the time by telling stories. Oh joy. Poppy wants to hear Teresa’s life story. Poppy is obviously a masochist. Teresa skips the majority of her life (THANK YOU) and just starts with meeting her boyfriend Bill.

Teresa’s Story, Part 1
It’s Christmas vacation, and Teresa is at the mall spending every penny she has on gifts for every person she’s ever met. We learn that she gives guitar and piano lessons every day after school, and that she also writes songs. This is going to be a source of much pain for me throughout the book. In line at the food court, she meets Bill, who not-so-subtly inquires about her relationship status. Upon learning that Teresa is single, he offers to buy her lunch. They sit and talk, and Teresa learns that Bill is interested in astronomy and physics and wants to “journey to Mars before he [is] forty.” I guess it’s good to have life goals, even if they’re completely unreasonable.

Bill and Teresa have their first date two days after Christmas. At dinner, Bill tells Teresa all about the Big Bang Theory. I just bet he wants to show her his Big Bang Theory, if you know what I mean. He says it all started “fifteen billion years earlier.” Actually, it was just under 14 billion years ago, but what’s a billion years here or there? After he’s finished, Teresa asks him what that makes human beings:

If all matter in all the universe can be condensed into a period doesn’t that mean we’re like nothing? Just spirits floating around on a ghost planet?

God, SHUT UP TERESA. I’m sure Pike meant for that to be all deep and probing, but really it’s just stupid. I’m not going to get into the physics behind the origins of the universe and matter and all that good stuff, because it’s not worth it. I’ll just settle for recommending Neil deGrasse Tyson’s excellent Death by Black Hole.

They go to Bill’s house after dinner, and he pulls out an old guitar and asks Teresa to play a song she’s written. She does, much to my chagrin. The song is absolute shit. Here’s one verse, so you can suffer along with me:

But you heard it anyway and it made you laugh.
You saw me too soon and your eyes cut me in half.
But I laugh, too, and I don’t want it to end.
This time together with the boy who gave me this painful yen.

That last bit is perhaps the most awkwardly constructed song line ever. I would rather listen to “A Horse With No Name” on 24-hour repeat than be subjected to Teresa’s musical abortions. This song ends with Teresa promising to stay with her lover-boy “until the month of May.” Really? That’s awfully random of you, Teresa. Why just until May? Do you have somewhere you need to be in June? As professions of love go, this isn’t exactly inspiring. Bill kisses her and tells her that the song was beautiful, which means that either he is lying or he is deaf.

We’re back to the present. Free asks if Teresa and Bill did the wild thang that first night. Teresa says no, but they did it later, and you can totes tell she’s lying about that. Teresa is of course still a virgin, because we all know what happens to Pike characters who have sex. Free says that now he’ll start the story of John Gerhart and Candice Manville, two people Free and Poppy used to know, who “had a kind of Romeo and Juliet romance.” Teresa says she hopes they didn’t kill themselves. Ahem, FORESHADOWING. I hate this book.

John and Candy, Part 1
Hey, if you put their names together, they make John Candy (may he rest in peace).

John and Candy meet when they’re high school juniors. John is new to the area. He is poor, great at fixing cars, and a little wild. He’s awesome in math and wants to be an engineer. Candy is a dreamer, who’s not doing well in math class. John passes her the answers during tests, and she pulls her grade from a low C to a B. Because the final grade is all that matters — not whether or not you actually, ya know, LEARN the material. John and Candy start dating. They go to the beach a lot, where “Candy look[s] like sex and sun lying in the warm sand.” I swear Pike uses the phrase “looked like sex and…” to describe at least one character in every book. By this time, John and Candy are doing it “just about every day.” Ah, the infinite stamina of a 16-year-old boy. Also, John’s stepfather beats him. There are, like, no admirable father figures in Pike’s world for his poor male characters.

Candy’s parents want her to be a doctor. Perhaps if Candy’s parents knew what a dumbass their daughter was, they wouldn’t have such unrealistic expectations of her. But Candy sucks at basically everything except art. She loves to draw, and she’s apparently “a genius” at it. Is she a genius at art like Teresa is a genius at songwriting? Because if that’s the case, then I bet I could totally kick Candy’s ass in a drawing contest.


I rock the Wacom hardcore.

Also, Candy is colorblind, so she only draws in black. She tries to keep her art a secret from John, because he’s apparently a dick who makes fun of everybody for everything, but one day he comes to her house when she’s sketching a picture of him. He’s amazed by how well she’s captured him, but because he’s a dick, he doesn’t tell her that. Instead he starts criticizing her work, saying she made his ears and nose too big. Candy tears the sketch up and throws it in the garbage, then starts crying. I can think of a better place for Candy to have stuck that sketch than in the trash can. Candy’s tears spur John on to “hassle her more,” and why she is so in love with him, I have no earthly idea. John needs to die.

Afterwards, John feels bad and asks to see more of Candy’s art, but she won’t share it with him. This pisses John off because he wants to be all up in every part of her life — like, stalker much? He thinks it’s just “too bad for her” because he could have helped her get ahead in life. What. Ever. Does John have some major connections in the art world or something? Because from what I’ve seen, he’s just a low-class dickhead who’s good at math.

We also learn that John is majorly possessive of Candy, and will bitch her out if she “so much as [speaks] to another guy.” John fits the classic abuser profile to a fucking T. My hatred of John cannot be adequately conveyed in words, but BURNING RAGING DEATH RAYS OF HATE comes fairly close. I am thisclose to climbing into this book and castrating him.

John and Candy have only one more test to take before they graduate high school. They’re going to go to Berkeley together. Candy of course only got accepted because she cheated off John throughout her junior and senior years. She’s going to cheat off of him during the chemistry test, because Candy “barely know[s] that the formula for water [is] H2O.” Candy is such a dipshit. John’s the first one finished, and he writes down all the answers onto a scrap of paper, wads it up, and drops it on Candy’s desk. But then some chick in the class tattles. As much as I hate John and don’t like Candy, that’s really fucking low. Mind your own business, chicky. The teacher comes into the room demanding an explanation, and John and Candy try to play it off by saying Candy didn’t have enough time to study because her mom has a tumor. Which is a lie. OHMYGOD YOU FUCKING BRATS. The teacher puts a big fat goose-egg on John’s exam. When John basically accuses the teacher of being pissy because his wife just left him for another man, the teacher says that now he’s not only giving John an F on the test, but for the entire class as well. Plus he’s going to call Berkeley and have a nice little chat with them. John reacts in a perfectly reasonable fashion, by punching the teacher out. Oh wait. That wasn’t at all reasonable. I hate John.

John is expelled and arrested. He gets to spend his summer vacation in juvenile hall. Hell, I would have tried the little bastard as an adult. Candy’s parents forbid her from seeing him (good call!), so she doesn’t visit him. While in juvie, he gets a letter from Berkeley basically telling him to go to hell. John’s all, Waaaah waaaaah it wasn’t my faaaaaaault. Please god let an alien monster pop up and devour him.

In the present, Teresa asks Free if Candy got to go to Berkeley. Free says that yes, by the time John was released from juvie, Candy was “living the happy life of the college coed.” Good for her! She doesn’t need that asshole John around. Free says that John tried to find Candy, but “he found her at the wrong time.” Poppy speaks up and says that she should be the one to tell Candy’s side, since she knew Candy better. But before Poppy tells her story, she wants to hear more about Bill. By this point, I’m actually glad to get back to Bill, because at least he’s not an abusive douchebag like John.

Teresa’s Story, Part 2
After Bill and Teresa have been dating for six weeks, he sets up an audition for her at a club. Oh, it must be a comedy club! *rimshot* By this time, Teresa is totes wanting to do Bill, but he’s not quite amenable to it yet. A teenage boy who doesn’t want to have sex with his willing girlfriend? He’s either gay or a Jonas brother. Or maybe he’s just completely turned off by Teresa’s big nose. Teresa’s not so sure about playing a club, since she sings “soft ballads.” If I were her, I’d be more concerned that her songs suck rather than that they’re ballads. Bill tells her not to worry, that he played the owner a tape of her performing and the owner is dying to see her. Really? Dude, this is 1993. A year of grunge and gangsta rap and all those damn “Whoomp (There It Is)” rip-off songs. (Also, how sad is it that to this day I still know all the words to “Whoomp [There It Is]?”) I somehow doubt that the owner of a music club is going to be creaming himself to book some random teenage girl who plays acoustic guitar and sings songs that make Jewel’s poetry look like genius.

Anyway, at first Teresa’s upset that Bill taped her without her knowledge. That would piss me off, too. Why can’t the guys in this book respect interpersonal boundaries, yo? Bill told the owner that Teresa was 23, so she’s worried that when she meets him, he’ll realize that she’s “just a kid.” So Bill offers to dress her up all womanly and stuff so she’ll “look like Madonna.” Heh. For some reason, I have absolutely no problem believing that Bill wants his girlfriend to dress like 1993 Madonna.

Madonna 1993

I would kick the Pope in the head for those abs.

Teresa says she doesn’t want to look like Madonna because Madonna “can’t sing.” First of all, what do Madonna’s looks have to do with her singing talent, or possible lack thereof? Also, while it’s true that Madonna is far from the most talented vocalist, she CAN sing, and she also writes far better songs than you could ever dream of, Miss Thang. Teresa gets Bill to agree to go away for a romantic weekend with her in exchange for her meeting the club owner.

The owner, Mr. Gracione, is not fooled by Teresa’s fake age. But he doesn’t care. He can’t believe she really wrote the song on the tape. Really? He wants Teresa to sing for him. She starts shaking, which Mr. Gracione says is good: “Everybody who’s any good gets the shakes. If you didn’t get them I’d know you didn’t care about your music.” WTF, dude? I’m sure that some stunningly untalented people also get the shakes before performing, and that some supremely talented people are confident enough in themselves that they don’t. Teresa sings a new song called “Warm Summer.” While not quite as shitastic as “The Month of May,” this song is still pretty dreadful:

But I am not so bold.
I say only this to myself.
Skin waiting so cold.
For me, this gold
Would be having you to hold.

God, that is so trite. I’ve seen more meaningful writing scribbled in purple glitter pen on the back cover of a high school yearbook. Mr. Gracione is blown away, though, and calls the song “amazing.” Mr. Gracione is obviously easily impressed. He asks Teresa if she and Bill are getting along OK, because she had so much sorrow in her voice while singing. Now that I can understand: singers who can infuse their voices with sincere emotion are powerful. For instance, John Cale’s cover of “Hallelujah” can make me cry from the sheer emotion behind it. But somehow I doubt that a 17-year-old girl who only had her first kiss six weeks ago is capable of expressing that much emotion through her singing (see also: American Idol), and even if she could, that doesn’t make up for the ABSOLUTELY SHITTY SONGWRITING. Mr. Gracione books her. Of course.

Teresa’s big debut is two weeks after her audition. During those two weeks, she sees less of Bill. When she does see him, he’s all about suggesting changes to her songs. I’m torn on this issue. On one hand, it’s another invasion of personal boundaries. But on the other hand, almost ANY change to these godawful songs would be welcome.

We are finally introduced to Teresa’s BFF, Rene Le Roe. That is such a porn star name. Apparently Teresa and Rene have a “curious” friendship, as they don’t really have much in common: “it was as if they were best friends because no one else wanted to be friends with them.” Heh. Rene and Teresa suck. Rene is, of course, stunningly beautiful. In Pikeland, the best friend always is like a million times hotter than the heroine. Pike describes Rene as having “long black hair” that is “the color of a winter night sky.” That isn’t at all redundant at all. Rene wants to be present for Teresa’s big debut. As Teresa practices, she begins to realize that she has talent, that she can “write songs that [speak] to people.” Yes, and they say, “RUN AWAY FROM THE LAMENESS.”

The big night finally arrives. Teresa and Rene are riding together to the club. Teresa jokingly warns Rene not to steal Bill away. OH THE IRONY. When they get to the club, it’s packed with about 200 people. Apparently Mr. Gracione has been talking Teresa up to everyone. Maybe Mr. Gracione suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to discern good music from bad? Bill calms Teresa backstage by assuming that all of the songs she’s ever written are about him, even the ones she wrote before she met him. Excuse me while I vomit. Teresa dedicates the first song of her set, “Until Then,” to Bill. This one isn’t nearly as bad as the others. It’s not great, but it doesn’t kill a tiny part of my music-loving soul to read it. Anyway, the crowd claps for a full minute after she’s done. OK, seriously, IT WAS NOT THAT GREAT.

After the show, Bill, Teresa, and Rene go to an all-night coffee shop. Bill orders a chocolate cake and wishes he had some candles for it. Teresa says it’s not her birthday. Bill disagrees: “You were reborn tonight.” OH GAG. Stop trying to be all deep and shit, Pike. You just come off sounding cliched and cheesy. Teresa reminds Bill of his promise to go away on a romantic weekend escape with her, and Rene points out that there’s no way in hell Teresa’s parents will let her go. Teresa says she’ll just tell them she’s going away for the weekend with Rene. Rene worries that the Chafeys might call the Le Roes and bust Teresa. Bill tells Rene that she’ll just have to come with him and Teresa, then. Teresa is Not Amused.

Teresa rides home with Bill, who mentions that Rene is “fun to talk to.” That, my friends, is called a red flag. Teresa tells Bill that they could have so much fun on a weekend escape, making passionate love. Bill seems reluctant and says he wouldn’t want Teresa to get pregnant. Teresa actually cracks me up by saying, “I’ve read that there are steps you can take to avoid that.” This may be the only time I smile during the entire book. Except when I’m fantasizing about drawing and quartering John. Bill just seems annoyed with Teresa, though. Look, I don’t like Teresa, but I honesty don’t know what she’s done that could explain his behavior. Sure, he’s falling for Rene, but later in the book Pike basically says that Teresa was responsible for pushing Bill away. I’m not seeing it, unless maybe he’s finally realized that her songs suck.

We’re back in the present for a few paragraphs. Teresa sadly tells Free and Poppy that, by that time, Bill was “already in love with Rene.” Yeah, after knowing her for a whole five hours. Things move fast in Pikeland. Free thinks Bill’s an asshole, but Poppy says that it sounded like Rene and Bill “liked each other from the start.” She says that Bill doesn’t sound like a bad guy. Well, compared to John, Bill is a fucking prince. But Bill’s still a bit dickish. Teresa gets all butthurt and says that Poppy didn’t know Bill, that Bill was just a user. How in the hell did he “use” Teresa, exactly? Anyway, now it’s Poppy’s turn to tell Candy’s side of the John-and-Candy saga.

John and Candy, Part 2
Poppy picks up the narrative thread where John is sent away to juvie. Candy mopes around all summer. She does have the presence of mind to wonder if John’s violent nature and history of family abuse could have led him to be abusive towards her. She tries to visit John in juvie, but her parents told the guards not to let her inside. So she goes on to Berkeley, and sends messages to John after he gets out, but he never responds. Candy misses John; after all, they were together for two years. Poppy says that “there was nobody with a bigger heart than John,” like, have you MET John? I think she meant to say, “There was nobody who was a bigger douchebag than John.”

After only a month, Candy is flunking out of her premed classes. She drops her hardest classes to avoid getting Fs, and her counselor tells her to forget about ever going into medicine. Good call! During Christmas break, Candy tries to contact John, but she can’t find him. Back at Berkeley for her second semester, Candy is barely hanging on with her gen-ed requirements. She’s afraid to take an art class because it seems absurd. No, “absurd” would be trying to major in premed when you don’t know what F=MA means…oh, wait. Towards the end of this hellish freshman year, Candy begins a relationship with a married art teacher named Henry, who is in his midthirties. As Sting would say, “This girl is half his age.”

Candy takes comfort in her relationship with Henry, even though she knows it’s going nowhere. She’s basically decided that she will never love anyone as much as she loved John. Oh, for fuck’s sake. I hate this high-school-soulmate shit that Pike always pulls. I know that, to a teenager, the end of a relationship often equals the end of the world, but can we not perpetuate that? Let’s try breaking the cycle and showing teens that there IS life and love after high school.

Even though she and Henry use condoms every time they have sex, Candy gets pregnant, OF COURSE. Look, I know that condoms are far from 100% effective, but sweet Zeus, Pike, can’t you let a female character get her groove on without being punished for it? Henry wants her to get an abortion and offers to pay for it since Candy doesn’t have much money. Candy agrees — until she takes a day trip to San Francisco, stands on the Golden Gate Bridge for a few hours, and has a revelation that she “had to keep her baby.” Let’s see: Candy has no money, no real means of supporting herself and a child, and no place to live, and she’s in a relationship with a married man. Of course the rational thing to do is not have an abortion. She hasn’t changed her mind for any moral or religious reasons, just from this random thought she has that she MUST KEEP HER BABY. Pike is so freaking obsessed with abortion=EEEEVIL, and I hate him for that.

When Candy tells Henry that she’s made up her mind and is keeping her baby (Papa, don’t preach, please), he dumps her. Candy’s OK with that, which at least shows some maturity on her part. Candy moves to Oregon to “start over,” and goes on welfare because she has no money. She has her baby on Valentine’s Day, OF COURSE, and names him John, OF COURSE. Candy, we need to talk. John was a lowlife, abusive d-bag. Why would you name your innocent baby after him? GAWD.

Back in the present, Poppy is finished for now. Free accuses her of adding a lot of B.S. to Candy’s story, but Poppy insists that she told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Has anybody not yet figured out what’s going on here? Because I think Pike thinks that he’s building up to some big twist, but my husband just read this recap so far and has already figured it out. And he’d never even heard of Christopher Pike until, like, two weeks ago. In case you have played right into Pike’s not-so-subtle hands and are still in the dark, I won’t spoil it for you. Anyway, Teresa wants to know if John and Candy ever ran into each other again, so Free picks up the story.

John and Candy, Part 3
After getting out of juvie, John was mad at Candy for never visiting him, and also embarrassed because she’d gone on to be a college student while he was left behind to be a big, steaming pile of fail. John needs to cowboy up. Just go to community college for a few semesters and then start reapplying to colleges and universities. IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. John goes home for one day and gets in a fight with his stepdad, and breaks his nose. Are we sensing a pattern here? Granted, John’s stepdad has been beating him up for years, so I’m not going to fault him for finally returning the favor. John goes to work at a bakery for a big food chain. His job is to take apart the machines and clean them. Since John is awesome with machines, he can do an 8-hour job in only 3 hours, giving him 5 hours a day to dick around. He wants to save up some money and then try for college.

BUT when he starts applying at universities and state colleges, he learns that his chemistry teacher has already contacted all of them, and nobody will accept it. My, that was one pissed-off and industrious teacher. There’s nothing left but “a bunch of junior colleges.” Or maybe an out-of-state university? Would it really put him out that much to move to, like, Arizona? If he’s worried about out-of-state tuition, all he has to do is establish residency before applying to colleges. But then, that would be a logical move on John’s part, so obviously that’s out of the question. John refuses to even try going to a junior college because “he had his pride.” ZOMG WHAT THE FUCK?!?  My husband is a bona fide genius, and HE went to a junior college for two years before transferring to a university. Do you honestly think you’re too fucking sparkly-special to go to a junior college, you snotty brat? So instead you’re just going to completely forget about your dream of being an engineer and sit around and have a lifelong pity party? John likes to act like he’s such a goddamn victim, but EVERY SINGLE BAD THING that happens to him is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF HIS OWN ACTIONS. Must…fight…urge to…KILL.

Next comes a horribly boring part where John invents something that improves upon the manufacturing process, and his boss tries to take credit for it, and John calls him out in front of everyone. So of course John gets moved from his cushy cleaning detail to the decidedly less-cushy job of hot dog machine operator. Ah, sweet justice. This hot dog machine is very dangerous, and I think we all know where this is going. John invents another time-saving device, and when he gloats to his boss, his boss wants a demonstration in front of all the workers. John’s so busy being all smug about showing his boss up that he doesn’t pay close enough attention to the machine, so two of his fingers are ripped off. YES!!! I love it when bodily harm befalls John. Then, hilariously, his fingers are sent, by the machine, into the big oven for further processing. When they emerge from the oven, they’re cooked and wrapped in hot dog buns. HAHAHAHAHA. This could only be funnier if it had been John’s penis that was dismembered instead.

John is convinced that his boss sabotaged the machine to purposely disfigure him. Well, of course. It can’t be that John was just a negligent asshole. He hires a lawyer to sue the company. But the judge “allow[s] John’s previous history of teacher beating and juvenile hall time as evidence” against John’s character. I have to say, I love the phrase “teacher beating.” While I don’t think John’s criminal past is relevant to his present case, I still love to see John get screwed over because I hate him so very much. John loses the case.

Since his hospital stay, John has become addicted to painkillers. Dude, you were on painkillers for five freaking days. I was on straight intravenous morphine 24/7 for over a week when I was your age, and I didn’t get addicted. My ICU nurse told me that it usually takes a couple of weeks to become addicted, and even then true addiction is less common if you’ve been taking the morphine for serious pain. So shut the hell up right there. He’s all whiny because he’s in pain all the time, and wah wah wah it keeps him from doing anything wah wah. Again, no sympathy here. I almost died from a massive blood clot two months before I graduated high school (hence the aforementioned morphine, plus a buttload of other medication). I know from crippling pain. So, SHUT UP JOHN.

Anyway, John becomes a heroin addict, and he takes to stealing to pay for his habit. I bet junior college doesn’t look so bad now, huh, assface?

In the present, Free wants to stop and get something to eat. He tells Teresa that she can’t hear the rest of the John and Candy Saga without first telling them the rest of her story about Bill. He says that after her story, they can stop and visit his mom, who “can read fortunes.” I can hardly wait.

I’m going to do all of us a favor and split this recap into two parts. Apparently my deep well of hatred for this book is spurring me to extreme wordiness. Thus ends Part I of my own personal nightmare.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Road to Nowhere by Christopher Pike, Part I”

  1. Abbyon 07 Apr 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I get what you’re saying about Teresa’s songwriting, but I thought Pike captured pretty well the kind of songs a 17 year old girl in her first relationship would write. And maybe he overdid it a bit with everyone worshiping her music, but I do think that kind of music would have found a niche, even during that time.

    I never noticed before the troubling trend with father figures in Pike books. Usually, though, it’s when the protagonist is male. I can think of a few books where the female main character had a somewhat normal father, but the poor boys’ fathers either beat them or abandoned them. Come to think of it, when the girl was the main character, it was often the mother who had left. Interesting.

    I liked the character of Teresa. She seemed to be a pretty realistic depiction of a teenage girl. I remember being furious with Rene and Bill, as well as Poppy Corn for defending them.

    I loved Christopher Pike’s books as a kid, but I suppose there were some darker undertones I didn’t pick up reading them in middle school. My favorite of his books was See You Later.

  2. Whitney Gon 07 Apr 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Abby, you’re exactly right: the male characters had terrible (or completely absent) fathers, while the female characters usually had terrible mothers. One exception that I can think of is The Lost Mind, with a female protagonist who had a quite likable mother. Julia in Witch had a great mother, but she died before the book began.

    This was always pretty much my least favorite of the “classic” Pikes, so I’m just not inclined to like any of the characters. Rene may actually be the only character I do like, and that’s probably just because she has the least amount of “screen” time, haha.

    I loved See You Later back in the day, but it’s been a long time since I re-read it. Spellbound and Scavenger Hunt are my other two favorite Pikes.

  3. Abbyon 08 Apr 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve read most of the older Pike books, but Spellbound and Scavenger Hunt never made it on my list. I loved almost everyone I did read, with the possible exceptions of Slumber Party and Weekend, which I thought were over the top silly with all the twists, plus it was essentially the same story twice.

    I loved See You Later the most, followed by Whisper of Death (I read it in 5th grade and hated it- was probably over my head. I read it again the following year and loved it), and The Immortal. I suppose looking back he is quite heavy handed in his ‘morals’ of the story, but his books were just so different from all the other popular YA authors at that time. He was lumped in with RL Stine and all the other teen horror novels when books really belonged to a different genre, I thought.

  4. [...] I is here. If you don’t feel like reading, let me recap: Everyone in this book sucks and needs to die, [...]

  5. [...] Bard’s Brushstrokes created an interesting post today on Road to Nowhere by Christopher Pike, Part IHere’s a short outlineFree wants to visit his mom, and Poppy wants to visit her dad, who is a … plays acoustic guitar and sings songs that make Jewel’s poetry look [...]

  6. [...] Execution of Innocence manages to be both fairly decent and pretty boring at the same time. Thematically, it’s a revisitation of his earlier works like Gimme A Kiss, the Final Friends trilogy, and Last Act: just teenagers being really shitty to each other, without the aid of any supernatural forces. Although my favorite Pike books (Scavenger Hunt and Spellbound) actually involve unearthly plotlines, I’ve always like the more “human” Pike books a lot. Where Execution fails is its hasty ending and the feeling that we’ve all been here several times before. Still, it’s a nice little quick read, and a pleasant reprieve from crap like The Book That Shall Not Be Named. [...]

  7. u suckon 21 Dec 2010 at 4:13 pm

    hey asshole:)

    well this is my inner teenager miss douchiest of all
    When I first read this book it was completely amazing to me and you my friend obviously don’t know what good reading is. If you didn’t like it from the start what compelled you to finish till the end….haha ofcourse it’s worse reading it as an adult because adults have no imagination or creativity. Their hopless now more than ever when it comes to fiction novels..I bet your imagination is dryed as a prune..am I right or am I right:)….I hope your website crashes amd burns and if you have children hopefully their imagination rubs of someway.

    Thankyou for your time.

  8. u suckon 21 Dec 2010 at 4:34 pm


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