Zephyr [NOOK Book]

Overview

Whether dashing through the Plains, creeping over the Rockies, hurtling across the Great Basin, or threading the Sierra Nevada, the California Zephyr is an earthbound cruise ship bearing as many as 300 passengers, each with a story to tell. One hears tales of trysts in showers and sleepers, of charming serendipities in dining cars, of smuggling drugs and pets (including an elusive boa constrictor), and of a small child's tragic death on the ...
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Zephyr

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Overview

Whether dashing through the Plains, creeping over the Rockies, hurtling across the Great Basin, or threading the Sierra Nevada, the California Zephyr is an earthbound cruise ship bearing as many as 300 passengers, each with a story to tell. One hears tales of trysts in showers and sleepers, of charming serendipities in dining cars, of smuggling drugs and pets (including an elusive boa constrictor), and of a small child's tragic death on the tracks.

The California Zephyr remains America's most exhilarating train, traversing breathtaking mountain scenery and retracing the route of countless westering pioneers.

Veteran journalist and novelist Henry Kisor climbs aboard the train and introduces us to the men and women who ride the rails—some out of restlessness, some as a hobby, some seeking love or friendship as they open new frontiers in their deeper selves. And of course there are the resourceful train crews, who tell tales of "dog-robbing" supplies in the yards, of coping with medical emergencies en route, and of keeping their good humor over the train's 51-hour run. The Zephyr's route is a passage of surprising connections, as the grand history of railroads, terminals, luxury limiteds, and western bandits exists side by side with contemporary concerns.

Through Kisor's eyes, we participate in all the events that make a train trip magical. Fans of his mystery novels (Cache of Corpses, A Venture into Murder, and Season's Revenge) and his other nonfiction books (What's That Pig Outdoors? and Flight of the Gin Fizz) will not be surprised to find Kisor to be an active participant in his story and an affable traveling companion. As we head westward with him at our side, Zephyr becomes more than just a leisure trip, but a personal journey into the heart of America.

Originally published in hardcoer in 1994, this new ebook edition—called "an indispensable traveler's aid" by the New York Times Book Review—contains many new photographs as well as an Epilogue that brings the original book up to date, including the stories of the people celebrated in it.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hours before he boards Amtrak's California Zephyr in Chicago, he wanders the train yards looking over the locomotives with an eye for their design and technology; then he checks out the Zephyr's kitchen, renews acquaintance with the chef and asks about the menus. So curious is Kisor about everything happening around him and about the train crew and passengers, who in short order tell him all about themselves, that the miles click away pleasurably.
David Haward Bain, New York Times Book Review
For every grown-up kid who once hankered to drive a train or swing aboard to punch tickets, and for any adult whose heart still responds to a far-off train whistle, "Zephyr" is an indispensable traveler's aid.
Donna Seaman, Booklist
As he rides the California Zephyr from Chicago to Oakland, Kisor . . . observes his fellow travelers with lively, generous and bemused attention. A history buff, Kisor mixes vivid anecdotes from the glorious heyday of America's railroads with musings on the changes time has brought not only to the industry, but the varied landscapes trains traverse. He reminds us that railroading is dangerous and demanding work and relates some hair-raising tales about "trains-from-hell."
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014190824
  • Publisher: Henry Kisor
  • Publication date: 4/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 341
  • Sales rank: 724,491
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Henry Kisor is the retired book review editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of two other nonfiction books, "What's That Pig Outdoors? A Memoir of Deafness," "Flight of the Gin Fizz: Midlife at 4,500 Feet." He is also the author of three mystery novels, "Season's Revenge" (2003), "A Venture into Murder" (2005), and "Cache of Corpses" (2007).
All are now available as ebooks. A fourth, "Hang Fire," will be published in hardcover in 2013. He was a nominated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1981.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Bios/Swiftstar Bio

    This is where you post bios. If you need a format to work off of, here's my bio:

    Name: Swiftstar, formerly Swift
    Gender: Female
    Age: 3 years/36 moons
    Clan Position: Leader
    Personality: She is loyal, strict, and wise. She is usually quick to losing her temper, but tries her best to keep her anger at bay. She has a HUGE weakness for kits! :)
    Fur Colours: Ginger, white, brown, black
    Fur Design: Dark ginger tabby cat with a white muzzle, underbelly, and tail tip. She has brown legs and black paws. Her ears are tipped in white. Her fur is relatively short, but fluffs up quite a bit during the winter.
    Eye Colour: Her eyes are a greenish blue, with a yellow tinge around her pupil.
    Mate: None
    Crush: None, and if I HAD one, would I tell you? :)
    Kits: None, and doesn't want any. She's afraid they'll get in the way of her leadership.
    Strengths: She's a great, formidable fighter, having taken on three cats at once and won. She also has exceptional hearing, however her eyesight's not that great.
    Weaknesses: Despite her love for kits, she's a terrible kit caretaker, and her short temper doesn't help anything. Hunting ground-dwelling creatures can also prove to be a difficulty, as her large paws hit the ground harder than most cats.
    Backstory: Nothing special, she was born as and lived a loner, before deciding to start a Clan.
    Other: Her favorite prey is trout! It's a shame there's only a small creek in their territory.
    Siggy: ~Swiftstar~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Good Review of Amtrak

    I rather expected this book to give me a blow-by-blow acccounting of an Amtrak trip from Chicago to Oakland. While it does take me along that route, it really gives more insight into the workings of the crew and others associated with the rail. some stops and sights along the way are well=described; others are not mentioned at all.
    It is entertaining and does keep me reading. The 1000+ pages flow along and don't seem that long and drawn out. I imagine the paperback version of the book has not so much text per page, since soemtimes one page on my NOOK will cover a couple of pages from the book.
    I will be taking a ride soon on the Zephyr--eastbound though--and this is helping me to prepare for that trip and to know what to expect on board.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Zephyr - Great Book

    I found this book to be extremely enthralling and it always captivated my attention. The miniscule details the author threw in really helped to make the book, and the personal relationships he was able to forge with the crew members was really great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    I love trains, too!

    I bought the original hard cover book when it first came out. You do not have to be a rail fan to enjoy this book! It's also a great human interest story! And by the way, I go to ride the Zephyr in 2004, and ride Amtrak every chance I get! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do. I wish Henry would also write about other Amtrak trains: The Empire Builder, The City of New Orleans, The Southwest Chief, etc.!

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    Excellent!

    This is the second book I have read which was written by Henry Kisor. Both books kept me interested and eager to turn the page to see what happens next. "Zephyr" brought me inside to see what happens behind the scenes on an Amtrak train.

    It is my hope that the author will write about other trains and that we'll be able to read books title "Eagle", or "Chief", or "Builder", or..... So many trains, Henry, please give us more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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