A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow: My American Hitchhiking Odyssey

A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow: My American Hitchhiking Odyssey

by Tim Brookes
     
 

"I first saw America on July 1, 1973. I flew over on a charter flight full of students...all of us drawn toward America like dazzled, half-blind moths, seduced by a vast poster...of a Greyhound bus whose destination board bore a single word that encompassed the infinite adventure of America, its wild past, its endless plains, its mystery: BUFFALO."<
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Overview

"I first saw America on July 1, 1973. I flew over on a charter flight full of students...all of us drawn toward America like dazzled, half-blind moths, seduced by a vast poster...of a Greyhound bus whose destination board bore a single word that encompassed the infinite adventure of America, its wild past, its endless plains, its mystery: BUFFALO."

So he was hooked from the very start. By the end of that fateful summer, young British expatriate Tim Brookes had hitchhiked to California and Vancouver, back across Canada, and down to New York. Now, twenty-five years later, he's back on the road. But he's got a lot more on his mind these days. Artfully weaving between past and present, Brookes considers exactly why the proverbial road trip, once a crucial part of American youth education, seems to have all but disappeared, superceded by more expensive and less uncertain kinds of travel.

Joining a venerable literary tradition that includes Huck Finn, Steinbeck's beloved Charley, and Kerouac, Brookes' hilarious and strangely moving A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow is a brilliant inquiry into America's peculiar relationship with the open road.

About the Author:
Tim Brookes is the acclaimed author of Catching My Breath and Signs of Life. A regular essayist on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition," he teaches writing, fiction, television criticism, and cricket at the University of Vermont. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The somewhat offputting title refers to the three-month journey Brookes made across America in 1973 at the age of 20. Describing how he traveled from east to west, touching into Canada and then returning home, the author offers a valid perspective on what has changed over 25 years. A professor, essayist on National Public Radio, and author (e.g., Catching My Breath: An Asthmatic Explores His Illness), Brookes is more than qualified to write an account of this sort. However, he lacks the vital art of sharing his emotions and capturing and entertaining the reader so skillfully demonstrated by the likes of Dervla Murphy, Tim Cahill, and Bill Bryson. Since this is a National Geographic title, one expects high-caliber, exciting, and engaging writing. What one gets instead is rather disappointing; there is an underlying sense that this book is the completion of an assignment rather than a work of passion. An optional purchase.--Jo-Anne Mary Benson, Osgoode, Ont. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
U.S. News & World Report
The British expatriate stuck out his thumb in 1998 to re-create a 1973 trip across American and found people were as wonderful (and wierd) as he remembers. He meets truckers, hippies, UFO believers—and is stunned by their generosity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792276838
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
07/01/2000
Series:
Adventure Press Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.27(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.11(d)

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