Customer Reviews for

Blue Highways: A Journey into America

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2000

    Blue Highways William Least Heat-Moon

    Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon is a wonderfully written recollection of a cross-country adventure taken by the author. Armed only with his van (ghost dancing), his 'desperate sense of isolation' and longing to leave his present situation, he sets out across the country traveling only on rural state and county roads, which are marked in blue on his old atlas (5). Heat-Moon describes an America, which travelers rarely see from the many interstates that now crisscross the country. His detailed account of the journey, and the many people he interacts with gives the reader insight into the character of the American people. He meets people of various backgrounds and culture, learning something from each, and describes the passing landscape painting a picture as clear as if the reader was sitting in the passengers seat. His journey begins and ends in his home state of Missouri, taking him in a circular path around the country. This circular journey 'represents the direction of natural forces', according to the Plains Indians (418). With each new route, and each new town Heat-Moon is able to capture the essence of the America not yet commercialized. He meets Bob Androit, who is restoring a nineteenth century log cabin. Heat-Moon envied the fact that Androit was 'rebuilding a past he could see and smell, one he could shape with his hands' (14). He also meets Bill Hammond and his wife Rosemary, who are building a boat the author spied from the road. 'You'll walk off before I get tired of talking boats' was Hammond's response once he realized Heat-Moon wanted to talk about the boat. Through the people he meets, the author gets a feel for the changes in character, attitude, and dialect, as he moves across the country and is able to present this well on paper. When asked where he is headed next by storeowner J.T. Watts, the author responds, 'I don't know' to which Watts adds, 'cain't get lost then' (35). This book is loaded with dialogue, which is the fabric of the journey, for without the stories of the characters he meets the book is simply a description of the changing landscape and the roads he travels. Heat-Moon's conversations with the many people he interacted with were not degrading and pompous, but were informative and witty. The author's ability to weave comedy and light hearted jabs into conversation with locals added a great deal to the readability of the book. He describes a gas station attendant as 'a surly fellow who could have raised mushrooms in the organic decay of his front teeth' (243). Humorous reoccurring themes carry throughout the novel such as his rating system for diners in which the number of calendars hanging about determines the quality of the diner, and the newspaper headlines he envisions when in certain situations such as 'Drifter Blown Away In Bar' during an evening spent in a Dime box, Texas bar (267). Heat-Moon is mostly a listener and an observer who lets the people tell their stories. Throughout the book are photographs of the people who Heat-Moon has had the most engaging conversations with. This adds reality to the journey, and is a reminder that these are real people, with true stories. Recounting his journey Heat-Moon says ' In my own country, I had gone out, had met, had shared. I had stood witness' (406). Heat-Moon is able to recount his journey in such a creative way and take the reader with him.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Travel lover

    I stumbled across a used Hardcover edition while visiting a friend in Pennsylvania. This is one of my all time favorite books! I used to love traveling across the country alone exploring new places, so this book fit me perfectly! A must have for anyone who loves cross-country traveling!!!!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Take to the Highway

    This book is a bit dated but still a pleasure to read and perhaps more important because it is dated. It is a good piece for reflection in these tough and trying times. William Least Heat-Moon paints with his words the journey in his van across much of the USA when small towns and little known roads could still be found. These are places that hold on to their own local feeling, still connected to past history that is also personal. Great contribution to Americanbilia.

    I recommend reading it slowly over days, weeks even -- let it steep and sink in.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    Blue Highways

    In William Least Heat-Moon¿s Blue Highways, he tells his personal experience of his travels across the country. He feels his life is turned upside down and he needs to escape it. Taking his van, Ghost Dancing, for the ride, he has the adventure of a lifetime. He comes to points in his journey where life is more exciting than others, and places where the wind never blows. Overall, he meets several people on his way across the country and stays in several towns. He learns the variety of ways god is believed in, the history of flying, and the way that¿s several of the towns he visits was started. If you like to read about other peoples travels, than I suggest this book to you. It will be hard to find at a local library, but it can be found. The author goes into detail on several different points and is very organized. He tells the story just as it seemed to happen and doesn¿t confuse the reader one bit. This story is very educational and leaves the reader with the want to travel the country, as did the author of this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2011

    The Interesting is in the Mundane

    I think it was page 40 or so, where the narrator is just having some pedestrian conversation with some random stranger, where I realized "Hey, there's NOTHING going on in this book! ...But I like it anyway." That's the draw of Heat-Moon's descriptive style - he doesn't try too hard to share insights about everything, or focus too much on himself - he's just there to help you enjoy the ride. Not every part is exciting, but not every part of life - and the backroads of America - is exciting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Great American Story Telling

    William Least Heat-Moon is a man who lived in Columbia, Missouri and is an English professor. Over the course of a single month, he loses both his wife and his job. He decides to try and turn around his life by driving across America on all the blue highways or routes marked blue on a road map. He drives a small Ford van which he converted into a small camper, and sets off on his journey with six gas credit cards and the remainder of his savings account. On his journey he meets people and places that seem to be stuck in time. He discovers places that have deep roots in the history of America. He learns where go to and where to not go on his road trip. He recalls meeting many people he would never introduce himself to if he hadn't been on the trip. Throughout his trip he meets great people who invite him in for great pie, or just a good conversation.
    This is a great book to read for anyone who loves down to earth writing. I received this book for my birthday and I loved it. The imagery makes you think about the more simple times in life and makes you reminisce about times when you felt free. While a little slow in some spots, the book is a joy to read. Heat-Moon has a distinct style of writing that puts you in the story so close you can almost feel the wind in your hair. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a great American story, or just a great book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    Blue Highways offers a unique view into America

    Heat-Moon's Blue Highways is a view into America that few have seen. In this book he is completely focused and the writing is reflective of that. He has clearly had the first person experience that allows him to tell the stories of the people he meets in the way that is almost like fiction. The dialog is excellent and Heat-Moon uses excellent descriptive language when he is in the back woods of Louisiana, he makes the reader feel as though they are in the river valley eating fried chicken. The mood changes by state and his feelings. When Heat-Moon gets a cold the book drags and when its cold the writing is fast and accurate as if it had been sharpened. The shear task of driving around the country is an undertaking most mortals wouldn't think of attempting especially on the slow back roads, but Heat-Moon has given the country a gift with his entertaining account of the people and places that he encounters on his captivating journey. In the end Blue Highways is an excellent book and worth your time and could be considered one of the finest travel guides ever!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Small-town America twenty-five years ago...a classic

    A little over twenty-five years ago William Trogden, who took the name of his Native American ancestors and called himself William Least Heat Moon, set out on a journey across America in what was basically the ancestor of the modern SUV, a small truck which he named Ghost Dancing. <BR/><BR/>Initially he did this because he had lost his job and his wife in the space of a month, but his journey turned into much more than just an attempt to forget. It became a classic search for and journey into the heart of the country. <BR/><BR/>This is not a trip into the weirdness of America, although Least Heat Moon encounters plenty of strange sites and people on his journey. It is more of a trip into the heart and soul of the country - figuratively as well as literally. There have been many books written over the years about people leaving home to find America, but even after twenty-five years this is still one of the best such books ever written. <BR/><BR/>My only complaint is that he quotes Walt Whitman a little too much. I can understand his references to Black Elk, given his background and ancestry, but his overuse of Whitman is a bit jarring at times. But if you work around the Whitman quotes you will love your journey across America's blue highways with William Least Heat Moon.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Great book! I've been to some of these areas and found the descriptions to be accurate. I enjoyed the descriptive writing and his sense of humor. I highly recommend both bok and activity (getting off the Interstates) to get to know our country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2013

    The books of William Least Heatmoon are like water to a man lost

    The books of William Least Heatmoon are like water to a man lost in a literary desert of worthless meanderings. Please save yourselves and pick up any one of his books and you will waft off to a far better place in literary treasure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This story elucidates what it would be like to have things fall

    This story elucidates what it would be like to have things fall apart and go on an epic journey in one of the most cherished corners of the US, blue highways. I found it to be an enjoyable read.

    I would recommend this product along with Eighteen In Cross-country Odyssey by Benjamin Anderson, a tale about an eighteen-year-old’s journey across the United States between his high school and college careers, fraught with quirky encounters and beautiful scenery. Make sure not to miss either book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2013

    Highly recommended

    One of the best travel books ever written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Yeah.

    Not my cup of tea. Trying to get back into it but for me it's hard.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Based on nook sample

    JAC2848 - did not like nook sample

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Blue highways

    Wow this guy really wrote about his adventure.......How did he get his info.????Its great if you like to get up and see the states.He really had a trip to write about...I loved it but you really have to read every word sloooowwwww.....Its really in depth.......Really a good read.Buy it.......

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2