Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map-if they get on at all-only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.
©1982 William Least Heat-Moon (P)2013 Hachette Audio
I loved this book. The title intrigued me but with a new author you never know, especially with no ratings. The book grabbed me right from the beginning and never let go. It is very well written. It is funny, interesting, quirky, just an overall good experience. If you want to go on a road adventure through the back roads of America and into local peoples homes and lives try this book. I do not think you will be disappointed.
The people William Least Heat Moon met. They made this book, without them the book would be lacking.
A man sets out across America with a few gas cards, little money and a van to live in. He's searching for something, maybe himself, what America is to him, history, peace of mind, adventure? He doesn't fully understand it himself. Recently divorced, out of work and generally down on his luck, Least Heat Moon is taking a stab at a long time dream to drive across America on the back roads, avoiding mainstream everything. He does it and this book documents his journey.
No, but the performance is excellent. The voice changes and inflection capture the essence of the words and make you feel as if you are there.
The encounter with the guy in the desert. The guy is depressed and a bit strange. I can't really describe it here, but somehow the whole incident becomes a metaphor for two different ways to solve your problems or to look at the world.
What is this book? It's part local lore and history of various places in America, part travel adventure, part introspective and all excellent writing. America is a different place than it was in 1978 when the journey was made, but I think the basic fabric of America that Least Heat Moon discovered is still there.
Yes. I read the book years ago, and Joe Barrett's narration brought it back to life for me.
I can't say; everything about this book is memorable.
His voice with its gruff edge brings forth the writer's sense of humor along with his respect for people of all walks and means.
Fun. Motivating. Insightful.
Travels with Charly.
So many different characters. So many different, seemingly excellent, accents. I'm not an expert.
Motivation to go out and explore.
If you've read this book before, the narration makes listening well worth your while!
I loved the influence that the characters met during Heat-Moon's travel had on his direction; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Each character described opens a view into their world that begs question and consideration for more.
When the author traveled through Selma, AL to inquire of the changes, or lack there of, after the march of Martin Luther King. A tension is experienced during that time in the story that tease the feelings of fear and rage.
The character voices were each original and alive with identity.
Life through the looking glass
The audio version of Blue Highways has one perk not available in the text version and that is the wonderfully performed, but not over done, variety of accents from across the country.
The story is compassionate and insightful and inspirational.
A nostalgic look back that would be easily translated into a PBS tv series of "where are they now" type shows on the many town and people William introduces us to. If someone could make that happen, it's a free idea for you.
This is a quiet journey that is best with full attention rather than multitasking but the lyrical descriptions will reward your focus . I took breaks at times for something faster paced but came back. My favorite parts are his conversations with folks on the East Coast near the end. If you are looking for a story of everyday people from across the country mixed with poetic descriptions of geography, listen to this book. Oh and the reader did a fantastic job, changing voices, tone and cadence to fit the region and gender and age.
Recommend with caution. I was seriously put off when it got all racialist post 1960s. And I am always suspicious of so many many deep intimacies revealed within mear moments of a single transient encounter.
If I have the stomach for addition reading beyond the red neck in Selma I will let you know.
I have not read the print version.
The only thing I have read that is remotely similar is On the Road.
This is the fist time I heard Joe Barret. It is an extraordinary performance. I think he is the most talented narrator I have heard so far. His narration is extremely versatile with great accents for the huge number of people encountered in this book from all across the United States.
The afterward where he talks about getting this published. Also, the desription of his day on the fishing boat was particularly vivid.
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