The Wide Game is a game played by high school seniors in the town of Harmony. Each player contributes $5, then race through cornfields and woods to an old quarry. First one into the water wins the entire pot, and then the senior class has a party at the quarry. It’s the stuff of legend, and some say terrible things happen during The Wide Game.
Paul, his girlfriend Deidra, and their friends don’t believe the rumors and participate in the game on Senior Skip Day. Although none of them win, they have a wonderful time until a life-threatening accident happens to one of their friends. Now they must make it back through the corn maze in the dark — and there are horrible things waiting for them. Some of them won’t make it through the night.
Ten years later, those remaining from that fateful night come together at their 10-year reunion and discover that The Wide Game isn’t finished with them yet.
“The Wide Game” is a great story, filled with twists, turns, and surprises, right up until the end. The characters are believable and very well-written. I was reminded of “The Blair Witch Project” in that Paul, the main character, recorded everything that was happening with his video camera. The camera provides a little light to see by in the dark cornfield, as well as capturing horrific sights and happenings.
The story takes place in 1988, and the mention of many songs brings back memories for those of us who were teenagers back in the ’80s when we still had the promise of our whole lives ahead of us.
“The Wide Game” also weaves the legend of the Miami Indians and the Mondamin throughout the story, which adds to the suspense and scariness of the novel. Are their friends playing tricks on them in the corn, or are they being stalked by the Mondamin? Why are so many crows following them? And are the voices the kids hearing real or just in their heads?
Michael West has written a wonderful tale of suspense, horror, and dread. The characters are real and sympathetic, and I found myself rooting for them to make it through the night. One of the twists took me by complete surprise and sent a chill down my back.
I highly recommend “The Wide Game.” And peg Michael West as a writer to watch.