The Quest for Juice: Reviews

This is a deeply weird book. I mean that in the best possible way. The journey was not at all what I expected – it was much, much better! In fact, I’m buying the sequel right now. Hope you’ll take a chance on this one too, it’s a lot of fun.

Constant Reader, Amazon

In this rollicking novel, lovable mental patient Oscar Well finds himself caught in the thorniest of paradoxes: he is paranoid, but it’s possible that he really is being followed. Though the story often pushes the limits of suspension of belief, Oscar’s stellar sense of humor and wildly unreliable narration keep the novel’s roller-coaster momentum going up to the very last page. Part One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, part Alice in Wonderland, the story delves merrily into astute observations of human nature as well as the vivid surrealism of hallucination. Whether Oscar is truly hallucinating, or caught up in a dystopian world, is never entirely clear; the murkiness offers the reader both delight and frustration. Nevertheless, excellent pacing and nonstop action distract from the illogical leaps, and Oscar and his several sidekicks make the story well worth the ride.

– Publishers Weekly

Jonathan-David Jackson owes me 1.5 hours of sleep, a bathroom cleaning, and a thorough sweeping and mopping of my kitchen floor as these are the things I was meant to be doing instead of reading “just one more chapter.”
This is an excellently paced book with no wasted text. I had several laugh out loud moments and my jaws are actually a touch achy from the almost constant grin that was plastered on my face. While the humor is far more American and the genre is different, I find myself nonetheless reminded a bit of Douglas Adams.
It’s a compelling story, and I eagerly await the sequel. The sequel coming out promptly could
in some small way compensate for the rest I lost as well as being hit in the face by the book three times before I finally gave in and went to sleep last night.

– Michelle Ruedin, Goodreads

Considering myself a creative person (a novelist myself and a retired architect) I marveled from the wild and entertaining creativity contained in the pages of The Quest for Juice. Mr. Jackson weaves a plot (that could also classify the genre as fantasy) filled with humor, suspense and what one believes is the mind-set of a paranoid schizophrenia into a delightful read. As I started reading I wondered if the author was a mentally deranged individual or possibly a medical professional who has cared for them. I was not prepared for the surprise twists encountered helping to keep the pages turning. I definitely recommend Mr. Jackson’s novel as an enjoyable read.

– Terry L. Wilson, Amazon

Jackson’s The Quest For Juice was the first winner of my ‘one per month’ self-published review draw for July. I really shouldn’t have read it this soon because there are at least forty-seven other things I’m meant to be doing, but I was so intrigued by it I picked it up and then couldn’t put it down.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that Jackson can write. This book is littered with sentences that are a pure delight; It is, as advertised, “Darkly comic” and surprisingly violent and disturbing in places. It’s a hard title to review because, it’s just so… out of the ordinary. Which is a Good Thing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m struggling to find anything concrete to compare it to. It’s essentially a simple, fast-paced, linear tale but what makes it stand out is Oscar’s narrative voice. It’s absolutely compelling in its charm.
Oscar’s is a fresh voice, and a strong voice. There’s an effortless style to him that makes him infinitely readable. In many ways this is the kind of title I can imagine gaining cult status, he’s that strong a character.
The Quest For Juice is a short, straightforward read with a small cast of characters. You could argue that there’s not a huge amount to get your teeth into. It’s a captivating tale though, with a unique narrative voice and an interesting twist. I enjoyed it, and would happily recommend it to anyone looking for something off the beaten track, something fresh and unpredictable, and especially to anyone who’s ever suffered from paranoia in any form. Actually, maybe not anyone who suffers from it too badly, because it may lead to you looking twice at your prescription…

Zöe Markham, zmarkham.net

This book is very funny, very clever, and extremely engaging. Oscar Wells, the main character, is genuinely comical, delightfully so, frequently absurdist and always consistently Oscar. The best novels have well-drawn characters and this is one of those novels. Oscar Well is hilarious.
I laughed out loud, often, especially at the Pratchett-esque footnotes that run through the story. What is better than the humour, however, is the depth of character found in Oscar Wells. I couldn’t help but like him, and so when events in the story started to turn sour I also couldn’t help but root for Oscar and cheer him on. It is the charm of Oscar that keeps you reading, keeps you wanting Oscar to be helped, or rescued, or vindicated, or at least, dammit, let the guy get his damned juice.
A surprising element of the novel is the subject of paranoia and mental illness, and the infinite spectrum that exists between defining one condition versus the other. In this age of global and local surveillance, certain degrees of paranoia are valid; but by the same token, extreme paranoia can prevent us from seeing what’s actually happening. Here, Jackson applies a delicate hand, and guides us through Oscar’s journey quite deftly.

– Dianski, Amazon Canada

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