Austin and Emily is a very strange love story within a twisted Wizard of Oz tale. Emily (Dorothy) is a 23 year old stripper stuck in a rut. She does her job, but she feels like she is missing something (and it’s not her clothes). Austin, a 347 pound man with a very dry sense of humor and a special love for canned ham (his job as a canned ham salesman provides him with an endless supply) stops in the gentleman’s club Emily works at and notices her beauty. From there it is love at first sight. Emily leaves her life as a stripper behind and decides to travel with Austin to California (their Oz). Emily has a friendly demeanor with a sunshine outlook on life, while Austin is very cowardly and withdrawn (cowardly lion). Hopping into Austin’s car they begin what becomes a very strange and somewhat disturbing journey to the west coast. They pick up a few friends along the way, who oddly resemble characters from Oz as well. At some point I almost stopped reading this strange novel, but was glad I finished it. It is certainly charming in its own weird way, leaving readers with the age old message that love almost never turns out to be what one expects.