out of 5
Review by Jim
Prevented myself, from any thought of careless, meandering travel via car in America----largely the victim of high gas prices---I turned to McMurtry to live vicariously through his words what I would love to be doing, just tooling down the interstates and backroads. Yet, it is really hard to call this a travel book, because really, it isn't. Yes, he logs a lot of miles and describes (quickly, and without much depth) the routes he chose to take, but they are really only framework upon which he drapes a memoir. He is not out exploring, but pondering. He reflects on bookselling and his heart surgery, on books (many of them travel) he has enjoyed, and tidbits on literary figures who happpend to have lived anywhere near where his car takes him. Many of the asides are very revealing. More often than not, it seems that McMurtry doesn't really like most of the cities or even many of the stretches of interstate. A westerner, he loves his huge sky and wide open spaces. I think one of the best chapters was dedicated to the long dirt road that connected his family farm to the nearest town. This is a quick, enjoyable read.