An Old Man's Journey

An Old Man's Journey

by Allanther

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

NEWS: The majority story has be taken down in preparation to go to kindle.  An Old Man's Journey originally started posting in October of 2019 and the final chapter of the draft was posted on June 21st, 2020.  

Charles was an old man.  A widower.  Retired.  He spends his days watching old movies and waiting for his kids and grandkids to call.  And doing that is all he wanted to do in the short time he has left.

Bert, his long-time friend, offers Charles a chance to play a game: Crossroads.  A virtual reality simulation that could give him another way to spend time with his family.  So he seeks to find a place within the game, a place for his family to visit.

With a magic stick levels above what any starting player should have, Charles sets out on a journey to find the perfect place to entice his family to visit. But the game and the players have other ideas.  Set up as an NPC quest giver to some, and antagonist to others, how will Charles find his place and what will he have to do to get there?  

 

This is a work of fiction, any similarities between etc. etc. etc.  Please don't sue me.  

Temporary coverart from pixabay. 

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Author
Allanther

Allanther

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
Reviews
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pldl
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story reads like a fever dream. It's extremely fast paced with a bunch of plots at once.

It's an overall humorous story with an unique main character.

You should read this in one sitting and at as high of a pace you can. 

If you do not like the main character in the beginning, you will not enjoy the rest.

If you like world-building, I do not recommend this.

Please don't read below spoiler if you are interested in the story. This story does have its merits and I don't want to poison your perception of a story that should be read as a fun romp.

Spoiler: Criticisms

 You should read this in one sitting and at as high of a pace you can. (So important, I said it twice.)

 

magao
Overall

Have read up to chapter 10.

The writing is easy to read. There are some grammar and spelling issues, but nothing too egregious.

The story is fun, old man casually messing with other players and

Spoiler: Spoiler

 I really like Bert

Spoiler: Spoiler

(which of course is vital to the plot).

Might want to add the Short Story tag, and unless there's a major change in the last few chapters I'm not sure Villainous Lead is appropriate.

ValentineN
Overall

GameLit from a completely different perspective.

Reviewed at: 47

The MC is an old man in a sci-fi era. He's lived long and has nothing to prove, only enjoy life.

The satire tag is wrong. It pokes fun at some of the more popular tropes like harems, Rambo wannabes, ascendent warriors fighting armies alone and that kind of stuff, but it's not portrayed in a mean way.

The Game "reads" the players minds and offers them quests suited to their personality. For the MC?

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

 

Chayim
Overall

Simple wants. Simple needs.

Reviewed at: Vol 2 Epilogue

An enjoyable story that falters due to a lack of focus.

The first arc where an old man just wants to settle down and meet his family in a VRMMO is brilliant. The juxtaposition of this simple desire with the outrageous plots the game tries to entice him with is good. Combine that with his deft deference of those plots to other people and a supporting cast of younger more typical VRMMO players as foils for his major skepticism and you've got something great.

Where things start to take a turn is when that supporting cast leaves and new ones start rotating in. They aren't as good as foils towards the MC and they aren't as interesting as characters in their own right. I wish the reincarnation side plot wasn't retconned, it had a lot of promise. It was an interesting twist on my preconceived notions of what a game like that in a genre like this could do. It's the far future, make it how you want to and explain it (predictive AI or whatever) if you like. More importantly it looked to be a fun setup for character hijinks where they know and are unfazed by some things and are flabbergasted by others.
Charles actually does become a dungeon master which is less interesting to me than having him be a fulcrum that chaos spirals around. It's funnier to me when he is less oblivious and more just unimpressed. There's a lot of plot threads in the second half where he's more oblivious than anything else and the story just kind of jumps around.


The originals do come back for closure on their story and it does feel good. Missing hours of climactic action for your scheduled bathroom break is pretty funny. The troll thing I could've taken or left. I would've rather had the squid mess things up and have Charles shake his stick at it providing an opportunity for the people to take it down. It would've made a nice change of pace with him taking action instead of passively reacting to it.

Finally I'd also like to mention something I wish was in the story. Charles uses quests to get rid of his problems and he's usually fairly indifferent about it. When he was with his family I would've loved to have seen him try to lean into that ability to help his grand kids (in a way that the game itself hasn't already done.) Maybe give a rebellious grandkid a quest to fish with their parents that ends up becoming a good memory or a shy grandchild a quest that'll have her come out of her shell a little bit and make some friends.

All said it's still a great read I'd recommend to most people.

Shimdom
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Absolutely beautiful. A wonderful comedy that has gotten me into some nice laughing fits. 

Tired old man just wants his family to visit him. In trying to get the rest of the world to leave him alone, he creates never ending cycles of get off my lawn and senile rants. Perfection. 

Please send comfortable shoes.

theLegionWithin
Overall

story has a lot of promise, fun to read

Reviewed at: 37

really entertaining MC, old man just wants to be left alone but ends up trolling the hell out of everyone he meets.  probably one of the more realistic fivr litrpgs I've read yet here on RR.

Acolyte_of_cthulhu
Overall

 Its soo hilarious imagining an old man hitting people with a walking stick.

ZapDaddy
Overall

A realistic exaggeration of a crotch of the old ma

Reviewed at: Epilogue

I would like to five Star this story but I can't. It's a fairly decent and semi-realistic story of what a crotchety old man would be like in a video game, and what some crotch of the old men are like in real life.

The ending is highly disappointing. Slightly satisfying in nature but very disappointing from a story standpoint.

This story repeatedly uses the kinds of misunderstandings and misrepresentations that can happen when the elderly deal with the young . And the main character of this story has been doing it for so long that he doesn't care anymore about how misunderstood he gets. In fact he actually perpetuates the misunderstandings.

It does have quite a bit of good old-fashioned slapstick whacking. A lot of sarcastic old man acting like a sarcastic old man. And yes even some of the more detestable tropes being made fun of.

I do not recall whether this story still has the harem tag or not but it shouldn't. The MC does not have a harem in fact he actively breaks up a few and causes many more to fall apart.

All in all this story was a bit of a up and down adventure. It gained and lost my interest two or three times throughout the story but I still finished it. And then when I got to the ending I was disappointed.

Would I read the story again? No.

Am I glad I read this story The first time? Yes.

Knowing what I know now would I still have read the story the first time? Yes.

Enjoy this story for what it is, a fairly decent written wack-stick comedy, an exaggerated story of a crotch of the old man.

mad-ness
Overall

Very funny and surprisingly entertaining even if it is sort of slow/slice of lifey.

JeanDRacc
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

An old-man's companion book

Reviewed at: 34

Ever wondered what you would want your father or grandfather to read on a birthday? Well, this is what you need to read before you have to explain the book. 

You get a wish-fulfillment story for an old man.  However, this old man is playing a VR game. And this my friend is were things became totally enjoyable. 

Just imagine it: 
Old man lv 1
Weapon of choice: Stick. 
Class: Harem slayer and the honorable guy behind the library. 
Attitude: Teachy, doesn't want to hear about the game, grumpy about others messing with his tranquility. 

If the above isn't enough to get you to know Charles. Then let me add how he progresses in the story and survives the pokes of the damn system that is made specifically to trouble him... Ok, its a game, the system is made to make the people that enter it play, right? there is nothing wrong with that, right? The old-man a slayer, the system a stalker, and the reader the observer. 

And thus, you get a story that deserves a five in every aspect. Since the style and the grammar are well-done enough for that. 

Thanks for the story, dear author!