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Publisher's Summary

"I wanted to drive the American roads at the century's end to look at the country again, from border to border and beach to beach...
"From earliest boyhood the American road has been a part of my life - central to it, I would even say. The ranch house in which I spent my first seven years sits only a mile from highway 281, the long road that traverses the central plains, all the way from Manitoba to the Mexican border..." - Larry McMurtry

Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry sets out in Roads on an automotive odyssey exploring America's highways and the culture that has grown up on either side of them. "My method, to the extent that I have one, is modeled on rereading; I want to reread some of the roads as I might a book," he writes. Crisscrossing America in search of the present, the past and himself, McMurtry's route is also his destination.

Executive Producer: Dan Zitt
Producer: John McElroy
Original Jacket Design by Chip Kidd
Jacket Photography © Swanstock/Peter Delory
Author Photograph by Diana Lynn Ossana
©2000 by Larry McMurtry
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"He has a reporter's eye, an affectionate ear for everyday speech, and, yes, a Dickensian storyteller's facility when it comes to churning out words." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

like riding around with your grumpy grandfather

OK - this is the long boring narration of an old guy drivng around the country in his car doing nothing but complaining and he manages to do so all without ever leaving his vehicle. Sound impossible? well its not. This guy goes on and on about the most boring stuff and does nothing but complain and whine. This isn't how it used to be in the old days... this sucks...I could do that much better... etc. He drives straight for two days sleeping at nights in a motel right off the freeway never straying from the interstate to find the real America. Sounds interesting if you are into complete boredom. If you want to listen to some good travel writers stick to Bryson or Least-Heat Moon. Put this book on your skip list and save yourself the bore of a lifetime......

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Todd
  • Milford, NH, USA
  • 08-15-03

Gave it a shot...could put it down...

I'm a lover of Charles Kuralt, traveling and the American Road...hence a book about the roads in America seemed to be right up my ally. I will say I gave the book an honest chance, but I couldn't make it past the first hour. The author, who writes extremely well, seemed to complain about more things than he complimented. The narrator, a cross between the "Grumpy Old Man" from Saturday Night Live, and Andy Rooney, left me wondering if anything positive would come out of his mouth. I let the player roll on. Amongst many comments of which roads he liked and which he didn't (and if you live on the east coast, forget it, he states 10 minutes into the book he hates I95 and refuses to drive it), the author rolls down from Minnesota to Texas, pointing out rest stops, too many trucks, sunsets in Kansas, and the Mexican border.

Charles Kuralt's writings are much more heartwarming, granted they are more about the people of the places he visits, but this book just seemed cold and harsh, like the interstates he was writing about. Maybe you will find something else deeper in it.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • marsha
  • warrenton, va, United States
  • 07-02-16

travel monologue

i loved listening to this stream of consciousness history, cultural, literary, geographical monologue. I would take a drive with him any time.

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  • Mark
  • Mission Viejo, CA USA
  • 02-20-13

Best real travel book I've heard

I know many of the places that he is described and they made me want to revisit them. I especially wanted to get the book about the old cowboy and found it on Amazon and have read it very good read and the book itself on travel was exceptionally well-written.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mel
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 05-07-12

Larry Sees America

Whether its cattle drives or Buick drives, Larry McMurty has a unique perspective on the land and people he meets along the way. George Guidall is not my favorite narrator but he probably "is" Larry in this case.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful