Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow: An American Hitchhikering Odyssey

A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow: An American Hitchhiking Odyssey by Tim Brookes is a fantastic travel narrative about something I don't have the courage to do, but enjoy reading about others whom do have that very courage. Tim Brooks does a great job about setting the stage of who he is and why he is setting off on this particular adventure. He also talks about his joys and failings on this trip, including dealing with homophobia, and the opinions of modern day America (1990's) versus how he was raised and his own current thinking on the matter. He does a good job of describing the people that he is picked up by, and who he stays with, as well as the people he meets when he doesn't actually hitchhike, including his current traveling companion and his previous travel companion. Tim Brookes has to face his past in a fairly forthright way, and I think as a result of having to face the past as he does, he provides a vivid description of current America, through eyes looking for contrasts and similarities, and not only does he succeed in his search, but finds something about himself as well, which is what hitchhiking should be about. The idea is inspiring enough for me to daydream about something I would never possibly dream of even in the age of cellular phones with cameras, and video cameras, net books, laptops, air cards, and iPods that do all of it. That's what I look for in an excellent travel narrative, the daydream to have that adventure, or one similar to it of my own.

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