The Art of not Thinking: Reviewing ‘Alice isn’t Dead – Part 1’

The cards like to say that “Life is a Journey, enjoy the ride.” Advertisements also like to say it. They all simply assume that a ride and a journey are two pleasant things that co-interact into a harmonious synergy. They don’t allow for the idea that these things might not be pleasant at all. They just probably don’t have the experience…

I’ve mentioned being on a journey and one of the things this ride has taught me is that I tend to think too much. I am an expert thinker and with schizophrenic type job that both forces me to spend a lot of time engaging with people and spending vast amounts of time on my own, I have perfected the art of overthinking things, especially because my imagination and the world I used to be able retreat to within it has become a little barren.

Here’s a little life lesson.

People who think a lot aren’t necessarily right in the conclusions that they come to. They are just normally very convinced of them. As I was starting to become…

So, in a desperate attempt to try and find ways to distract my thoughts and simply enjoy all of the rides that I am forced to go on, I’ve tried to find ways to distract myself. For the longest of time, my imagination hasn’t been the key. It was in fact a door with a lock on, one that I’ve only recently started breaking through to. Other means had to be consulted and, seeing as driving under the influence and drugs are simply wrong, I’ve taken to listening to podcasts. Podcasts are a delightful side effect of our ever-expanding technology. In the same way that self publishing has opened up the floor for all sorts of authors, podcasts and the sites hosting them have opened up the floor for all kinds of shows. Some are good, some are bad and some, a very select few, are simply unmissable.

Alice Isn’t Dead is one of them. I can describe it simply as being a little off beat, engaging and unique. Three things that are very hard to achieve in this modern day life. A serial fiction, it follows the story of a truck driver who is searching for her missing wife while crossing the wide span of America.  The format is engaging, with the driver actively communicating to the listener in the moment. Sounds of the truck intermingle with a strangely intimate monologue from a person whom I can relate to. My wife isn’t dead or missing of course – but I am a woman alone, driving endless highways while seeing both wonders and horrors alike.

A woman who understands the frustration of someone cutting her out of her lane and who knows the volume at which such lonely curses can be cast…

Part one of Alice Isn’t Dead spans over ten episodes or “chapters”, if you will, each telling of a unique occurrence that skilfully weaves itself towards the climax of the tale. I’m reminded a little of the thrill I used to get while watching X-Files (the old one before the age of smartphones…) where the mysteries addressed are never fully solved though expertly concluded. I’ve missed those mysteries, of wondering how the writer will bring it all together. I’ve missed engaging into a story that I could not predict. It is what sets this podcast aside from most tales I have come across over the past few months.  And, it has kept me engaged enough that I have not felt the need to think about my own inner spirals to the incorrect conclusions too much.

It is not an audiobook but a strange piece of creative art that somehow works in the medium in which it is set. If this review was about dishing out stars, it would probably have gotten five out of five. As it is, this isn’t to be seen as some sort of rating, simply an insistent buzz in the reader’s ear that should encourage one to listen to it.

Alice Isn’t Dead can be found on online here or on the Podbean app (that can be found in Google Play Store) or iTunes.

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