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Roads: Driving America's Great Highways By Larry McMurtry,

  • Title: Roads: Driving America's Great Highways
  • Author: Larry McMurtry
  • ISBN: 9781439129012
  • Page: 265
  • Format: ebook
  • As he crisscrosses America driving in search of the present, the past, and himself Larry McMurtry shares his fascination with this nation s great trails and the culture that has developed around them.Ever since he was a boy growing up in Texas only a mile from Highway 281, Larry McMurtry has felt the pull of the road His town was thoroughly landlocked, making the hiAs he crisscrosses America driving in search of the present, the past, and himself Larry McMurtry shares his fascination with this nation s great trails and the culture that has developed around them.Ever since he was a boy growing up in Texas only a mile from Highway 281, Larry McMurtry has felt the pull of the road His town was thoroughly landlocked, making the highway his river, its hidden reaches a mystery and an enticement I began my life beside it and I want to drift down the entire length of it before I end this book In Roads, McMurtry embarks on a cross country trip where his route is also his destination As he drives, McMurtry reminisces about the places he s seen, the people he s met, and the books he s read, including than 3,000 books about travel He explains why watching episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show might be the best way to find joie de vivre in Minnesota the scenic differences between Route 35 and I 801 which vigilantes lived in Montana and which hailed from Idaho and the history of Lewis and Clark, Sitting Bull, and Custer that still haunts Route 2 today.As it makes its way from South Florida to North Dakota, from eastern Long Island to Oregon, Roads is travel writing at its best.
    Roads Driving America s Great Highways As he crisscrosses America driving in search of the present the past and himself Larry McMurtry shares his fascination with this nation s great trails and the culture that has developed around them

    One thought on “Roads: Driving America's Great Highways”

    1. A modest travel book that takes you pleasantly on a number of long trips through the U.S.A Unlike Least Heat Moon s Blue Highways or Steinbeck s Travels with Charley , he is less interested in profiling people along the way than in reflecting on the broader landscape and on writers who succeed in evoking the character of regions I liked the vignettes of various writers But along the way, he bad mouths and dismisses a number of regions and cities in a rather cavalier and overgeneralized way He lo [...]

    2. There s really nothing wrong with this the writing style is fine, and the topic an interesting meld of book reviews and road trips encompasses two of my favorite topics BUT McMurtry is just so dang negative He doesn t like any of the places he visits, and even if he does like them, he still focuses so much on what s wrong with them or the negative things about them And while he states early on that his purpose was to drive the great roads meaning the big interstates and talk about the writers wh [...]

    3. I really enjoy McMurtry s essays in this book and others They weave in and out among travel, writing, great reads, depression This short book is about auto trips on America s highways McMurtry, a writer of novels, essays and screenplays, is primarily a book antiquarian Traveling the roads in Montana he is reminded, of course, by Norman MacLean, A.B Guthrie, Ivan Doig, etc but also by little known writers who, he feels, capture the essence of a place in a way not to be missed by the avid reader I [...]

    4. A nontraditional collection of travel essays, as the travel itself is a template for the authors state of mind and philosophical musings rather than an end in and of itself McMurtry relates his experiences driving along a varied collection of America s highways and with each trip muses upon the mutable nature of the roads and the cities along them, how his own life has changed since he first made that particular or a similar trip, and all of the authors who have written about the country he is p [...]

    5. Roads by Larry McMurtry is a bit disappointing for all that it is not Although he sets the expectations low in his intro, warning you that he will not be doing a traditional travel book ala Travels with Charley or The Lost Continent, you still don t realize how boring it will be to ride along with him He makes no stops at cultural or sightseeing destinations along the way, has few interactions with the locals, but just zips from the start to the finish of a route with only stops at gas stations [...]

    6. First off, Larry McMurtry is almost always great After all, he came out of Wallace Stegner s school of writing so how bad could he possibly be.I love most of his fiction at least that I ve read And so far, I have been loving his non fiction as well.Don t know if I was born with a wanderlust or not But I do love to drive I drive to North Carolina at least twice a year Used to drive to Washington, D.C area once a year But now that they have moved to San Antonio, I haven t driven there yet I ve tak [...]

    7. Since McMurtry has been one of my most read authors I endeavored off into a book that turned out to be unlike anything that I have read by this author Normally his novels have been stories of people in the west, particularly West Texas Lonesome Dove and The Last picture Show and all of their sequels and continuations are major evidence of what I view as superior literature He also does some fictionalization of famous western characters and often these portrayals become a little tedious for me Th [...]

    8. Prevented myself, from any thought of careless, meandering travel via car in America largely the victim of high gas prices I turned to McMurtry to live vicariously through his words what I would love to be doing, just tooling down the interstates and backroads Yet, it is really hard to call this a travel book, because really, it isn t Yes, he logs a lot of miles and describes quickly, and without much depth the routes he chose to take, but they are really only framework upon which he drapes a me [...]

    9. I ll say this for McMurtry, when he puts his mind to it he can paint a landscape as well as any author, and weave a story that will keep you riveted I wish he d done of this in this memoir of a year spent traveling America s major highways The book is like many major interstates miles pages of mind numbing sameness, occasionally interrupted by a point of interest There are a few memorable passages his father s encounter with a rattler, the disappointment of what Key West has become, and the att [...]

    10. I did not realize this was the author of Lonesome Dove when I picked it up It appears he s done a great deal of travel, crisscrossing the U.S many times on many roads Each chapter of this small book describes one of his travels over a lifetime of wandering But before I get to the travels, let me quote this I once met a well known writer in an airport he recognized me and immediately struck up a conversation about his favorite subject, himself Though a jerk, an asshole, and a bore, he was, and he [...]

    11. As he crisscrosses America driving in search of the present, the past and himself Larry McMurtry shares his fascination with this nation s great trails and the culture that has developed around them Ever since he was a boy growing up in Texas only a mile from Highway 281, Larry McMurtry has felt the pull of the road His town was thoroughly landlocked, making the highway his river, its hidden reaches a mystery and an enticement I began my life beside it and I want to drift down the entire length [...]

    12. Thoroughly enjoyable trip through America excluding the Northeast in 1999 McMurtry is most revealing in the places he knows best the midwest, Texas, and insightful if cranky not a bad thing everywhere else It s funny, smart, and makes a pretty good argument for driving for the sake of driving.Of course, as a voracious reader, writer, and bookseller, McMurtry loads the book up with other reading suggestions, so the 200 ish pages here will spawn at least 500 1000 pages for your reading list.Lots [...]

    13. Underwhelming.From the beginning of the book McMurtry is trying to condense the projectling us what he s not going to do Then his methodology is reluctant as well in that he chooses to fly to an area and drive a rental car on his route of choice.This lack of enthusiasm doesn t draw the reader in and the driving seems to be mostly annoying to the author.Those parts where McMurtry talks of writers of the region are clearly the high point of this anemic work.Disappointed the author chose to write s [...]

    14. A weird book, in that McMurtry writes a road book that doesn t stem from leisurely jaunts on America s lesser highways, but about racing from one end of an interstate to the other But that s how 99% of our long road trips are, aren t they, gobbling up 600 700 miles per day Also like most road trippers, McMurtry s drives are given over to seemingly random thoughts, and these essays have a stream of consciousness feel that is relatable The net effect is uneven, though some of these chapters shine, [...]

    15. 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 11 With this statement McMurtry begins his travel book, which is not so much about the places he sees although he does go into some detail about literary people, places, events as much as it is about the roads that take him there McMurtry loves to drive and not along those quaint roads where you can get stuck behind a slow moving RV or semi, but the big ones, the Inte [...]

    16. I liked this than I thought I would It was short, he did not dwell on any particular scene or theme The book was about the highways and not the people he met on the way However, his musings on history along particular roads and how he worked those into his novels was interesting He also discussed his bookstore s and showed just how much of a bibliophile he is.

    17. I read this, a chapter or two at a time, between other novels I enjoyed McMurtry s ramblings, especially the bit about the dirt roads of his childhood It s an interesting, quirky, and at times cantankerous set of travel writing.

    18. This was a good book to help know what makes McMurtry tick I enjoyed his musings on highways and places and some of his childhood history It was a bit of a disjointed book a book that could have been focused I did like also, his discussions on other writers.

    19. Some good insightsBut nothing really profound The book is dated, though honestly and insightfully written Quick read if you are a fan of the author.

    20. While there were a few portions of this book that I found interesting or enjoyable, much of it I simply found uninteresting, condescending, or even unkind.

    21. Combining two passions for roads and for travel books Larry McMurtry has created a road narrative that takes him through America, in spurts The roads in this book are the interstates, the great roads, the major migration routes that carry Americans long distances quickly, whose precursors he believes were the great roads of the nineteenth century the rivers of the Americas.Beginning in January, Roads takes us on a series of trips, each pegged to a month and to specific highways Being alone in a [...]

    22. If the name Larry McMurtry sounds familiar to you, it s probably because you ve read or seen Lonesome Dove or Terms of Endearment Or perhaps you ve heard of his son, the singer songwriter James McMurtry Whatever you know of the man and his work, what you will discover when you read Roads is that McMurtry loves and lives two things books and driving well, he admits he loves women, too, but they are not the focus here A caveat what you will NOT get out of this work is a nostalgic view of the backr [...]

    23. Not exactly sure, why or how I came across this book but I remember the authors name from a number of great westerns he has written and I have read including, Streets of Laredo , and my favorite Lonesome Dove I thought it would make an interesting read, traveling the American roads, coming from such a good writer.Be warned this is not like any travel book you have read, there is very little interaction with the people of America like you find in the classic book from William Least Heat Moon s, B [...]

    24. I picked up this book in the travel section of the library I was looking for a getaway, and Roads seemed like a good opportunity for armchair travel Having read both William Least Heat Moon s Blue Highways years ago as well as Annie Proulx s The Shipping News recently, I specifically trolled for new paths to follow.This is a unique travel book, as McMurtry explains at the beginning It is as much about the drives along Interstate Highways and major routes e.g U.S 40 and U.S 2 so than the sights [...]

    25. In a tiny town on the coast of Maine, a quaint little used book shop had adjourned for the evening and I was forced to peer through its weathered windows, longing for a glance at the castaway literature inside Outside, the wrap around porch was littered with a collection of readables longing for a home, and I suddenly wondered why the proprietor placed so much trust in the general public not to just help themselves The answer came in the form of a note above a slot in the door that said simply, [...]

    26. Great read again by Larry McMurtry His acerbic wit and unique perspective on American culture is great and refreshing He criticizes the East, Kansas and everything in between including Valet Parking As for our immigration policy The various police agencies that have tried to stop this natural, northbound flow of people toward what they hope will be a better life only degrade themselves in the process, since no human can legitimately be denied the desire to survive and help their families.

    27. When I started reading this and found that he prefaces the name of every SINGLE highway freeway with the the 80 through Cheyenne, the 35 and its corn fields, the 70 and the Appalachian hill folks you get the picture , I wondered immediately if I would be able to finish the book I really hate this linguist development When did it start Or, rather, when did it spread beyond LA Decades ago it was a bit quaint to be in southern California and hear everyone referring to their roads like this Whereas [...]

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