The Next Better Place: A Father and Son on the Roadby Michael C. Keith
In 1959, at the age of eleven, Michael Keith set off hitch-hiking with his eccentric, alcoholic dad, who was always looking for the next better place. Keith's funny, worldly-wise memoir, told without sentimentality describes his childhood spent in the rundown rooming houses and homeless missions of Pittsburgh and Fort Worth; in the carnivals of the Midwest and… See more details below
In 1959, at the age of eleven, Michael Keith set off hitch-hiking with his eccentric, alcoholic dad, who was always looking for the next better place. Keith's funny, worldly-wise memoir, told without sentimentality describes his childhood spent in the rundown rooming houses and homeless missions of Pittsburgh and Fort Worth; in the carnivals of the Midwest and the casinos of Las Vegas; and in every two-bit town along the way, where they attend AA meetings just for coffee and a doughnut. The Next Better Place explores the fine line between wanderlust and compulsion, between running away and arriving.
—Rocky Mountain News
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.75(h) x 1.10(d)
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Smiling ghosts of Mark Twain and Jack Kerouac hover over many pages of Michael Keith¿s ¿The Next Better Place.¿ This captivating book places Keith squarely in the same row with America¿s finest writers of the road adventure story. Which is to say that ¿The Next Better Place¿ is so much more than a memoir-cum-novel of a precocious son traversing America¿s great expanses with an ageing picaro of a father. Keith knows when to embroider his book¿s perfectly intoned dialogue, tremulous details, and charming teenage bravado with both lyrical pathos and hints at the perverse. The greatest American road novel, Vladimir Nabokov¿s ¿Lolita,¿ also came to mind as I devoured Keith¿s book, and I can only hope that Keith will soon reward his readers with another one.
That a kid could experience this kind of zany and maladjusted life and go on to distinquish himself is one of the amazing stories out there. Just read it and compare your childhood to Michael's.
I had a chance to read the galley of this amazing book, and I was completely captivated by it. What a weird, wild, and wonderful odyssey. Qunitessentially American but universal at the same time. You want to laugh until you cry, and then cry until you laugh. Nothing quite like it. A fusion of the best things a memoir can be.