author of Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike - Michael Aaron Rockland
Walt Whitman wrote, 'Oh highway . . . you express me better than I can express myself.' Peter Genovese has taken Whitman up--and what better place to do so than in New Jersey, the roadside pop architecture capital of the world. With an unfailing eye, Genovese has sought out the wonderful signs and structures, and the stories associated with them, that make New Jersey, as he writes, a 'roadside-watcher's dream.' Roadside New Jersey is that rare book: as much fun as it is profound.
New Brunswick's Home News columnist Genovese presents a pictorial collection of 478 mostly black-and-white photographs exhibiting the everyday sights along New Jersey highways. Included are everything from junkyard art to misspelled street signs, accompanied by a brief text at the beginning of each chapter. The author's intention is to show a fascinating New Jersey full of surprises, but banal would be a more appropriate description of the numerous photos of hand-painted signs, billboards, diner and motel signs, and storefronts. With a few exceptions, such as the windmill in Barnegat and the flag made from milk jugs on Route 40, there is little to inspire travelers to seek the sites in this book. Of possible interest to local libraries, but most others can pass.-Lucille Corbo, MLS, Scranton, Pa.