It was almost a decade ago that Least Heat-Moon (Blue Highways) followed the trail of Lewis and Clark in River Horse; in the first section of his latest peripatetic writings, he and his wife, Q, trace the lesser-known Dunbar-Hunter Expedition of 1804 through the southern half of the Louisiana Purchase, searching out the head of the Ouachita River in Arkansas. Least Heat-Moon's fans will find this territory, and that covered in the five other "journeys to places a goodly portion of the American populace would call 'nowhere,' " instantly familiar, as he and various companions take digressive paths from one small opolis ("where anything metro was clearly missing") to the next in search of "quoz" (an 18th-century word meaning "anything out of the ordinary"). Among his many adventures, Least Heat-Moon rides a bicycle along an abandoned railroad track, discovers a "road to nowhere"built by a Florida county so local drug smugglers would have a landing strip, and comes up with what he believes is the real story behind the murder of his great-grandfather. Or maybe the highlights of these journeys are the people he meets along the way and their stories, like the man who tried to fund a school for disadvantaged children by providing lonely widows with special massages, or the artist who's turned his cabin into a walk-in kaleidoscope. Either way, few readers will be able to resist tagging along. (Oct. 29)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roads to Quoz: An American Moseyby William Least Heat-Moon, Sherman Howard
About a quarter century ago, a previously unknown writer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. Acclaimed as a classic, it was a travel book like no other. Quirky, discursive, endlessly curious, Heat-Moon had embarked on an American journey off the beaten path. Sticking to the small places via the small roadsthose colored blue/i>
About a quarter century ago, a previously unknown writer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. Acclaimed as a classic, it was a travel book like no other. Quirky, discursive, endlessly curious, Heat-Moon had embarked on an American journey off the beaten path. Sticking to the small places via the small roadsthose colored blue on mapshe uncovered a nation deep in character, story, and charm.
Now, for the first time since Blue Highways, Heat-Moon is back on the backroads. ROADS TO QUOZ is his lyrical, funny, and touching account of a series of American journeys into small-town America.
Heat-Moon (née William Trogdon) has been a chronicler of small-town America since his Blue Highways: A Journey into America(1982). He has a gift for seeing beauty and mystery in even the remotest areas of the country. In his new book, he and his wife, Jo Ann (who refers to herself as "Q"), set out to explore the Ouachita River, which begins in Mena, AK, and ends in Louisiana. The reason for this journey is as fascinating as the book itself: Thomas Jefferson is famous for initiating the Lewis and Clark Expedition, but few people know of the Dunbar-Hunter Expedition of 1804, referred to by Jefferson as second only to Lewis and Clark's in importance. After discovering Hunter's Journal of an Excursion From Natchez on the Mississippi Up the River Ouachita, he and Q set out to see this largely still remote area of the South. Along the way, they ruminate on Grapette, Jesus Trees, the Goat Woman of Smackover Creek, the Quapaw Ghost Light-as you can see, this is not your typical travel guide. Heat-Moon's journey is as meandering as the Ouachita itself, and readers will relish the experiences he and Q describe along their trip. He has not lost his skills in painting unforgettable portraits of places and people few of us will ever encounter. And, yes, "Quoz" is a word, and its definition sums up the reason for recommending this book to all libraries: "strange, incongruous, unknown, and mysterious."
Joseph L. Carlson
- Hachette Audio
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.80(w) x 5.14(h) x 2.16(d)
Meet the Author
William Least Heat-Moon is the author of the bestselling classics Roads to Quoz, Blue Highways, River Horse, and PrairyEarth. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.
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Roads to Quoz is the story of William Least Heat-Moon and his wife Q's travels around America. Quoz are the quirky, peculiar, little oddities that you can stumble across when your heart and mind are open. You must travel at the pace of a mosey, something Least Heat-Moon has perfected and a companion the likes of Q, wise and witty, is also helpful.
I enjoyed this lengthy, leisurely, mosey across America. As he goes the author meanders off into whatever subject catches his interest, so you will hear about Quapaw Ghost Light of Oklahoma, getting lost in the Maine woods, a man with unconventional ways of raising money to start a school, and so many other fascinating stories it is impossible to relate them all here. Best of all you will come to know Q and admire the way she keeps Least Heat-Moon firmly and hilariously in his place!
I listened to this book on audio and Sherman Howard does a great job of setting the relaxed gently inquisitive tone. His voice matches Least Heat-Moon's personality so well that for awhile I thought the author was reading the book himself!