Matt Forney
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broken roads

As I Walk These Broken Roads by Davis M.J. Aurini

Who is Davis M.J. Aurini? Only one of the coolest motherfuckers in the ‘sphere. And I’m not just saying that because he’s a snappy dresser, or because has an impressively baritone speaking voice, or because he stole my haircut.

Aurini is one cool bastard because he has an uncanny ability to take complex concepts and explain them in such a way that they’re instantaneously understandable.

Whether he’s talking about psychology and reactionary politics in his mesmerizing YouTube videos (complete with Blade Runner-esque backdrop) or dropping one of his all-too-infrequent blog posts, Aurini is easily the manosphere’s best-kept secret. Having chatted with him over Skype, I’m in awe of his ability to understand people and keep the conversation on high-minded subjects.

Why am I giving Aurini such a slobbering blowjob? Answer: I just finished his debut novel, As I Walk These Broken Roads, and I loved it. Broken Roads is a tightly-written, enthralling sci-fi story, a great first effort. The novel is set in a Fallout-esque post-apocalyptic wasteland, centering on the life of Wentworth, a lone wanderer with a shady past:

A cold breeze began to blow, harbinger of the coming gloom. It whistled through the trees, stirred up dust devils, and crept into the folds of his jacket. It chilled his arms and neck, but left his back sweating. The road led through a valley, and as he neared its low point the sun disappeared behind the slope. He pulled out his Datapad and tilted the olive drab casing left and right until he could make out the screen. The GPS claimed he had only five hundred meters to go, but it was only picking up two satellites, so its predictions were questionable. He put it away, and leaned into the hill’s slope.

It would have been incredibly easy for Aurini to turn this into halfwit Fallout fan fiction, but Broken Roads stands on its own due to his meticulous attention to detail, keen understanding of psychology, and lean, economical prose. Aurini’s style of writing is reminiscent of Hemingway; he never uses two words when one will suffice, allowing you to fill in the gaps with your own imagination, a far cry from writers like George R.R. Martin who lard up their books with pointless and extraneous detail. His characters are believable: even his villains are given humanity. Finally, Aurini explores themes of masculinity and philosophy in a subtle, understated way; you’ll never feel like he’s giving you a lecture.

If I were to ding the book for anything, it’s that its ending seems kind of weak and random, though Broken Roads is the first in a planned trilogy, so it’s not a huge deal. If you want an entertaining story that makes you think, pick this one up ASAP.

Click here to buy As I Walk These Broken Roads.

Read Next: Re-Review: Around the World in 80 Girls: The Epic 3 Year Trip of a Backpacking Casanova by Neil Skywalker