Midway between the satire of Spinal Tap and the pathos of American Beauty lies the schizophrenic state of mind known as Hog Fever. On the surface this is the story of a man, a motorcycle, and a teetering bank balance. But lurking beneath, occasionally visible like threads through faded denim, is the story of a man in search of freedom - or at least one last stab at it.
Motivated by the emasculating success of his British screenwriter wife and a love of Easy Rider and The Wild One, Robert Lourdes, a struggling American author on the cusp of 40, finds solace in the Harley-Davidson legend. Robert's last-ditch attempt to become part of his wife's world ends in disaster when she blatantly co-opts his idea for a screenplay during a dinner party for a hideous Hollywood producer.
The arrival of Gabriella, a beautiful Italian production assistant with a Harley of her own, stirs in Robert the first tremors of a long-dormant passion. Confused and lacking the confidence to shed the marital skin, he takes further refuge in shiny accessories, rallies, and bigger Harleys, culminating in a 1,700-mile pilgrimage to a major biker rally in Marbella, Spain.
Hog Fever is Robert’s comedy of errors as he embarks on a tattoo-and-testosterone-fueled quest to find himself.
LaPlante's story is funny, fast and worryingly relatable. The format is creative, and more than overcomes the traditional bogeyman of audiobooks: bad narration. Instead the book is performed and supported by sound effects and musical beds. Shows that a creative author can enhance his work in the audio format, not simply read it.
Repeated listening is the cure. You have to check this out. Now that there is a cure don't be afraid to tell your friends you have Hog Fever.