Title: The Woods Out Back
Author: R. A. Salvatore
Page Count/Review Word Count: 294
The Woods Out Back is a beautifully told fantasy novel, and the first in a trilogy by R. A. Salvatore which follows the story of Gary Leger, a normal guy from our reality who has a dead-end job and is basically watching his life pass him by. That is, until he walks into the woods behind his house one day and finds himself travelling to a land called Faerie, where sword and sorcery rules the day. The only problem is, they need Gary’s help, and if he’s not successful in his mission, he can’t go back.
Throughout the book, we see the consequences of this – Gary isn’t exactly a skinny guy, and he does have a bit of muscle, but he doesn’t have any of the technique that you need to survive a real battle. Luckily, he’s joined by a bunch of friends along the way, including a leprechaun and an elf with a name that I can’t spell.
I first discovered this book as a kid – it was part of my dad’s collection. I re-read it over and over again, and I loved it – it might not be for everyone, but for a straight-out piece of fantasy escapism, you can’t fault it. It might not ask any big questions, but it does make you feel as though this is something that could happen to you. Perhaps you should take long walks through the woods, just in case you find yourself in Faerie. And the coolest thing of all is that even if you’re gone for several months, relatively little time will have passed by the time you get back.