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Blue Highways: A Journey into America [Hardcover]

William Least Heat-Moon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1982
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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 421 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); Ex-library edition (Dec 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316353957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316353953
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of simplistic brilliance 3 Sep 2001
By A Customer
William Least Heat-Moon is a relatively unknown travel writer outside the US, but this is one of his best books available in the UK. The part American-Indian writer explains how he overcame redundancy and divorce by travelling - he sold everything he owned and bought a van (subsequently christened 'Ghost Dancing') in which he drove around the USA and wrote about his experiences. Bill Bryson this isn't, as the real joy of the book is in it's simplicity - Heat-Moon meets the sort of people we see everyday on our way to work, but indulges them in conversation and writes it down. His inquisitive nature and the desire to have a look around the next corner of the road make it compulsive. You get the feeling it could be you in those pages. It really is a fascinating insight into the America of the time.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How travel writing should be. 31 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Having recently just returned from a similar U.S. road trip I found the book made compelling reading, revoking memories of encounters in "real America", if only everyone was blessed with Heat Moons evocative style of writing, top drawer stuff.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
This is a brilliantly funny book, but frankly I recommend the reading on audio tape because Keith Szarabajka (the gruffly stick-his-finger-in-the-fan Mickey Kostmayer of The Equalizer) makes it even better. His sexy, gravelly voice, is the perfect foil for Least Heath-Moon's utterly droll stroll through the forgotten highways across the US. The wit is incisive, about his personal life and the small towns and villages the blue highways(the roads mark in blue on US maps). These were once the main arteries of the US highways system, but are the 'Norman Bates' now forgotten restaurants, motels and quirky little people that refuse to give up their way of life.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost highways? 13 July 2010
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
A very interesting book about a road trip through America. First came out in the early 80's & you now realise it would be almost impossible to find the America the Heat-Moon tells off. Gone are the Mom & Pop stores, the quite small towns, etc, now the US is unfortunatly becoming a homogenized place of Walmarts, Taco-bells, McDonalds, etc, where even the old style stores are becoming chains (think Cracker Barrel). This book is an insight into the last days of the individualistic American character & poineer spirit that made it such a great country. It is still a great place, with wonderful people but some of the character seems to have gone but Road Trips through the backroads can still be a lot of fun.
But the Highways of this book are probably now lost to us forevermore..
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just leaving Arizona and all is going well 23 Dec 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have not finished the book yet - approaching half way - enjoyable and satisfying so far - I visited some of the Arizona places described (but in the late 80's not 70's) - brought back good memories - after completing my own 50 state road trip I had sort of sworn off the US for a few years - this book makes me want to go back and do it over.
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