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 memoir He is not out exploring, but pondering He reflects on bookselling and his heart surgery, on books many of them travel he has enjoyed, and tidbits on literary figures who happpend to have lived anywhere near where his car takes him Many of the asides are very revealing More often than not, it seems that McMurtry doesn t really like most of the cities or even many of the stretches of interstate A westerner, he loves his huge sky and wide open spaces I think one of the best chapters was dedicated to the long dirt road that connected his family farm to the nearest town This is a quick, enjoyable read. If this book was thrice the length, I would have soaked up every little reminiscence and anecdote Larry McMurtry would have written I found this little gem at a rummage sale I ve read a lot of McMurtry he s easily in my top 10 authors, and when I saw that this book was just about him remembering things and getting ideas for his fiction as he drove vast lengths of America s highways, I gladly paid the 1 for it This one now has a permanent home on my Larry McMurtry shelf. 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 , 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 , 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 And I 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 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 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 passing through or who lived in the towns he passes by Read with a notepad handy, as LM has forgotten about authors and booklore than I or you could ever hope to learn. 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 for food I guess the point is the driving and highway itself, and what can be seen through the window The only saving grace is McMurtry s well read references I found myself adding several books to my to read list that he mentions throughout the book by authors from a region or books about a region. Road trippin w McMurt and his reflections, all good 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 taken the train.I loved Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon and this is kind of along those lines Some of the time McMurtry is already in a place for a meeting or something and decides to drive to another place, either a route he used to drive or a brand new route and he just wants to drive there He usually stays off the interstate Because, as well know, there is nothing boring than the interstate It is the same view most of the time He tells us a lot about his life in Texas and in Washington He tries to re trace some of the old roads he drove between these places And he remembers why he liked them then he was driving home to the Plains Now he is just driving.There comes a point when he discovers he has driven enough He has driven from Seattle through Idaho, Montana to North Dakota He is back on the Plains again and knows that he has seen enough He has driven over the Bitterroots and advised us that this is a rough road Although it is the same route that Lewis and Clark took, it is not as rough a journey as then but, by the same token, he only six trucks on this route it is just too hard on their engines and brakes Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can t wait to hop back in the car and drive somewhere I need to find a new route to North Carolina. 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 This book, however, brings in a new dimension since it is basically a travel book McMurtry gets in his car and drives the interstates and other significant highways of the United States and shares his thoughts on the landscape, the people, and much of silliness and clutter of American roadsides One of the unique aspects of the book is that he shares a great deal of his great literary knowledge of authors, books, libraries that came from the areas encountered.The most significant contribution of the book, however, I don t think was intended It gives you great insight to the author, of course his opinions, but also his fears, his proud past and his reflections on life at an age when there is little left to prove The last road that we encounter in the book is the road from his ranch into town which is melancholy but wonderfully written. 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 who live in those places, that doesn t come through very well Everything seems to random, too pointless The only really decent chapter that should ve come much earlier in the book, not as the second to last chapter is the one about the dirt roads and his childhood. 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 have added at least ten books to my collection of travel writing simply based on his mention in this book For a real treat I listened to it read by George Guidall personal favorite reader while what else driving highways.
Larry McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on June 3, 1936 He is the author of twenty nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two essay collections, and than thirty screenplays His first published book, Horseman, Pass By, was adapted into the film Hud A number of his other novels also were adapted into movies as well as a television mini serie
- 208 pages
- Roads : Driving America's Great Highways
- Larry McMurtry
- 10 January 2019 Larry McMurtry