Evidence of the Journey by Todd Board
Evidence of the Journey, by Todd Board, is a collection of eight stories woven from Board’s philosophical bent and complex inner dialogue of thought. The stories, conceived separately but somehow each intertwined into a cohesive whole, range greatly in their subject matter. An elderly and dying woman with a difficult decision about her beloved ranch dominates one lengthy story, while another ruminates over the thoughts of man named Arthur in the throes of a subtly depicted conversation. Another follows Daniel, a ferryman in the San Francisco Bay. Each story exquisitely melds humor with paintings of memorable landscapes of nature serving as backdrops for the complicated ideas that are proffered by Board’s main storytellers.
The language of Evidence of the Journey is likely to off-put readers not interested in having the way that they perceive the world potentially altered or drastically changed. Board speaks to a somewhat narrow audience with his scholarly diction and his in-depth monologues that preclude more intricate or intriguing plot lines. Having said this, Board’s collection of stories is masterfully welded with his perceptions of often-ignored issues in today’s society, both tangible and intangible. His humor is quiet and strikes at unexpected places, leaving the careful and capable reader thoroughly tickled at times. Board’s views are like the glue that binds the collection together, which would rapidly unravel without his expansive descriptions of the inner thoughts of his characters, which reflect those views. Some readers will find Evidence of the Journey to be an overwhelmingly dry piece, while others will find it a fresh breath in the dusty air of modern literature.