Letters to Zerky: A Father's Legacy to a Lost Son . . . and a Road Trip Around the World by Bill Raney, JoAnne Walker Raney |, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Letters to Zerky: A Father's Legacy to a Lost Son . . . and a Road Trip Around the World

Letters to Zerky: A Father's Legacy to a Lost Son . . . and a Road Trip Around the World

by Bill Raney, JoAnne Walker Raney
     
 

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Both a memoir and a memorial, these collected letters and diary entries recount one family's adventurous journey in 1967 attempting to drive around the world in a VW bus. Not intended as a book at the time of the writing, the intimate and poignant story details the family's travels through Europe, the Middle East, and into Asia, challenging preconceptions about

Overview

Both a memoir and a memorial, these collected letters and diary entries recount one family's adventurous journey in 1967 attempting to drive around the world in a VW bus. Not intended as a book at the time of the writing, the intimate and poignant story details the family's travels through Europe, the Middle East, and into Asia, challenging preconceptions about different cultures and illuminating how one-year-old Zerky had a magical effect on everyone they met along the way. The book features maps and pictures of the trek yet is more than just a travelogue; Zerky and his mother died shortly after the trip and this narrative serves as tribute to their lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this plodding memoir, Bill and Joanne Raney recount a cross-continent trip that began in 1967 with a flight from San Francisco to Munich and took the couple across Europe and Asia in a Volkswagen bus with infant son Xerxes (the titular Zerky) and headstrong dachshund Tarzan in tow. Written in two voices—Joanne's diary entries and Bill's letters to Xerxes—the Raneys record daily events and interactions, from the epic (visiting the Taj Majal, witnessing a Hindu funeral) to the mundane (exchanging money in Iran, border crossings, gastrointestinal illnesses) with equal zeal, often omitting important historical, geopolitical, and regional information. Not without its moments—some of them genuinely touching—the book remains an often banal account of an epic journey without the revelations or insight one would expect from two hippies in the tumultuous 1960s.
From the Publisher

"This powerful, wonderful and compelling book . . . is for anyone who savors and celebrates personal stories of epic journeys, vividly brought to life in a dramatic way."  —Greg Mortenson, author, Three Cups of Tea

“Bill, JoAnne, their 18-month old son Zerky and their fearless dachshund Tarzan packed into their VW van to set-off to see the world. Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Sikkim, Assam, Nepal, Thailand, China. Bill takes you along on that rugged ride. Letters to Zerky captures those innocent times in this touching blast to the past and tender tribute to a son.”  —Brandon Wilson, Lowell Thomas Award-Winning author of Along the Templar Trail and Yak Butter Blues

“A masterful storyteller and beautiful description. A tale that keeps readers turning the page for more. The book will appeal to a wide audience, including those interested in travel, Middle Eastern history, and simply a well-written story of adventure.”  —Christine Canfield, ForeWord Magazine

“That rare travelogue with no ego and a true sense of discovery. A compelling and poignant read. The glimpses into Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and China are invaluable.”  —Kyle Wagner, The Denver Post

“A testament to the power of the human spirit—to wonder, endure and remember. The adventure quotient here is high, but the main ballast of the book is emotional, a testament to the power of the human spirit–to wander, endure and remember. A chronicle of travels through a bygone world.”  —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982138427
Publisher:
Nickelodeon Press
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
436
File size:
9 MB

Meet the Author

Bill Raney dropped out of college in 1959 to become a beatnik in San Francisco’s North Beach district. In the late 1960s, he founded the Nickelodeon Theatre, a local art theatre still alive and successful today. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. JoAnne Walker Raney moved to Paris in 1955 and from there went hitchhiking through Yugoslavia during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. She returned to San Francisco in the late 1950s to buy and remodel a small art theatre, The Movie.

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