The Great Northern Express: A Writer's Journey Home

The Great Northern Express: A Writer's Journey Home

by Howard Frank Mosher


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307450692
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

HOWARD FRANK MOSHER is the author of ten novels and two memoirs. He was honored with the New England Independent Booksellers Association's President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and is the recipient of the Literature Award bestowed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His novel A Stranger in the Kingdom won the New England Book Award for fiction and was later made into a movie, as were his novels Disappearances and Where the Rivers Flow North.

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Excerpted from "The Great Northern Express"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Howard Frank Mosher.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
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Great Northern Express: A Writer's Journey Home 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
PritchM More than 1 year ago
Frank needs to get back to earlier books that were wonderful VT stories. Needs to get away from the last several books that were about his personal adventures. I've rea all his books and this was fair at best
BobVTReader on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Howard Frank Mosher write stories from the North East Kingdon, though the tales could come from any small town America. He wrote a wonderful book, Northern Borders, which details why small communities along the Canadian/US border are different thatn the rest of US communities. A fascinating read. And there are difference; inNorthern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine there is a large number of people from French Canadian Secent and a large number of people speaking French. Vermont is thought of as progressive while New Hampshire is thought of as bed rock conservative. There is very little difference between the two states. There is really little difference between a rural community in Vermont and a rural community in North Caroline or Alabama.In this book Mosher goes on a book tour. The book is equal parts autobiographical, fictional, and an observation of America. It is dfinitely not one of his best books, but it speaks truths and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
bjmitch on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Howard Frank Mosher's account of his life as recalled during a cross-country book tour in a 20 year old car he calls the "Loser Cruiser" is guaranteed to make you laugh. I received it through Amazon Vine; it went on sale March 6, 2012.After a diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer and his 65th birthday, Mosher decides to head out to independent bookstores all over the country to promote his new book. His beloved wife stays home so he imagines passengers to keep him company. It's his habit to talk to imaginary people even as he's walking down the street at home anyway so this is nothing new.Home is northeastern Vermont, a place he describes so funny you'll hold your sides laughing. He and his wife moved there directly after Syracuse University to be teachers, and the school superintendent there judges days by whether they require two or three quarts of beer to get him through. The new teachers are told that their primary mission is to keep the kids out of the mill, i.e. a furniture factory in town.This memoir sort of reminds me of William Least Heat Moon's travel memoirs, except that Mosher's trip is so much more hilarious. He stays in Motel 6 or a local dive, refusing to stay anywhere more upscale, and he meets the strangest people. However, this is also an homage to the surviving independent bookstores in this country. All readers, I'm sure, are aware that indies are becoming nearly extinct, but some of the ones still open are becoming quite famous. You'll recognize a few.This author is so wacky it took me a little bit to decide if I liked the book but then it grew on me and I just drove my husband crazy reading sections to him from then on. By the way, the author and his car both survive to get back to Mrs. Mosher.
BookAngel_a on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Mosher, an author, is told he has prostate cancer. He decides this is the perfect time to take the big road trip he's been wanting to take since he was a boy. He's always wanted to go with his uncle Reg, although Reg has been dead for 15 years. Despite his fatigue from cancer treatment, he sets off on a combined road trip/author tour for his newest novel.Mosher alternates between the present and the past - telling the story of his book tour and also the story of his life...his marriage to Phyllis and how they found their home in Vermont. He also vividly describes the interesting people they met in their small home town, and how he decided what to do with his life.If you are afraid this is going to be a depressing story about cancer - don't be. His cancer is only mentioned a few times in the book and is not dwelt on.Mosher has conversations in his head with people living and dead. His uncle Reg is often quoted on Mosher's road trip. As Mosher tells his story, it was sometimes difficult for me to determine if the person speaking was real or imagined. But I believe this would improve as I read more of Mosher's work and become familiar with his style.This was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it for those who love book stores, travel books, and memoirs.(I received this book through Amazon's Vine Program.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a dear , laugh out loud ,great read! Tender,funny and interesting ! Loved every page
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
This book promised: 1) an account of a road trip, 2) visit(s) to various, independent booksellers across the country, 3) a journey that leads “home.” This was the first book by Mr. Mosher, a.k.a. “Frank Who,” I have read so his humorous telling of his trek was a bonus. When Howard Frank Mosher was 65, he applied for a McArthur Grant, which would pay him to “practice his art,” however he saw fit, for a year. His “McArthur Grant,” came in the form of a Cancer diagnosis. He took the moment of clarity offered by such a shock to decide he would fulfill a fifty-year-old promise – to visit the “haunts” of the authors of he and his favored Uncle Reg loved to read. He makes this 100 city, 20,000 mile odyssey, in a 20-year-old Chevy Celebrity he has named “the Loser Cruiser;” his traveling companions are: Uncle Reg (beloved uncle and dead 15 years), various authors (also deceased) and the “West Texas Jesus.” All of these “companions” offer direction, suggestions and generally play “Jiminy Cricket” to Mr. Mosher’s “Pinocchio.” In planning his itinerary, Mr. Mosher could have used a better GPS or at least consulted a map. He frequently back tracks, travels a few miles between book signings (the incentive for this tour is the promotion of his latest book) then drives extreme distances in a day (like from Miami to Texas). The book relates the story “as the tour happens” interspersed with the details of his move to Orleans, Kingdom County, Vermont in the early 1960’s. While entertaining, why the details of this recalling are included in this travelogue are unclear. The author quotes Larry McMurtry at points and the book is largely derivative of Mr. McMurtry’s Roads. Where Roads is a book detailing a road trip for the sake of “seeing where the road goes,” this book has much less focus. Apart from the imaginary riders, Mr. Mosher speaks of some bizarre occurrences he experienced while on his trip. I am not sure if those events were fiction meant to highlight the unusual trip he was on, if they were indicative of a more profound mental issue (possibly from the 44 radiation treatments he received to treat his cancer) with which he has come to accept or if they were actual events. The book was fun, but it is not one that will be the top of any “must read” lists.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
I love fishing stories. Lord know why, since I can remember only fishing a couple of times in my life. There is something about the sinuous dance of the line, the exotic choice of flies, the murmur of water, the glint of sun that mesmerizes me. And perhaps there is something about that wily fisherman hatching his next story in the big outdoors that makes even failure seem like a good day. Howard Frank Mosher did not write a fish story. Well, not really. But it felt like one. He gives us long, lazy, drawling storytelling as he rolls from one state to another on his cross-country book tour. You might say he was casting a line in all those independents he visited: some holes were dry and some were hopping. In bookstore readings with an author we get perhaps an hour of the author’s time, giving a reading, telling anecdotes. In The Great Northern Express we have hours of stories, the best ones, about what it is like to live in a mill town in far north New England, to be an author, to travel the country flogging one’s wares in a vehicle so ragged that every mile gained is both a prayer and a miracle. We learn of the man and his life, his influences, his decisions, his joys and cankers. And we get some of the best yankee backcountry jawing around. More than once, he reminded me of the classic book Go With Me by Castle Freeman about northeastern Yankees sitting around an abandoned chair factory for fun. I’m glad Mosher took his long-promised trip, but I wish he’d had more time for fishing.
LifeOfChai More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of Howard Frank Mosher and that's why this gets three stars. His fiction is fabulous partly because the characters he creates the most wonderful characters who come to life and are interesting to read about. But the author is not interesting. He's a great writer, but his own life is not all that exciting. He would make a great neighbor, probably, just not a great subject for a book. I look forward to his next novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warm, witty, really funny, tall tale teller. Now going to read more Mosher. I highly recommend it.