J Jack Unrau and his buddy went travelling through the Middle East and South Asia in the early part of the millennium. They left a year after 9/11/01 and returned on the day the US invasion of Iraq began. Nowhere Near Barstow is the journal he kept on the road. The book's not about politics but about the experiences they had. It's written as an achronological collection, jumping from experience to experience, much like memory. It's an idiosyncratic story of time and place.