Author: Alan Dean Foster
Published by: Questar Fantasy/ Warner Books
Like something out of a simplified Amber universe, "To The Vanishing Point" regards a family who take a summer vacation in Death Valley, pick up a hitch-hiker and become participants in a battle to save the universe from chaos and evil by soothing the Spinner.
Frank Sonderberg is driving his family to Las Vegas by camper in a vain last attempt to try to enliven some wonder in his children, when they pick up a hitchhiker named Mouse who, it seems, has to reach the cosmic Spinner and soothe it before Chaos destroys the universe. By way of Barstow.
Not, mind you, that she really tells them this until they've become lost in multiple worlds, pursued by demons, visited Hell itself, picked up a native american guide (who learned to levitate from a camel, though only sideways, and who never sleeps) and driven through a post apocalyptic version of their own world populated by mutants and mutant pot-holes.
It's the kind of story that sticks in your mind, and that makes you want to go write things afterward (though you know you really can't...unique things can't really be plaguerized, at least not effectively). It is certainly the sort of novel that you should not read if you plan on doing anything else in the meanwhile.