Something rare happened when I read this book, I read it from cover to cover. The only travel books I have ever read this way were those by the likes of Jan Morris, Wilfred Thesiger, Rory Stewart, Bruce Chatwin, and so on - not bad company for Michael and Juergen to be in!! When I downloaded it, I was not even planning a trip to Idaho - just curious. Now that I've followed their wanderings, I am ready to go. And wanderings is what the book is about.
This is a truly unique and wonderful chronicle of the 91 days they spent exploring Idaho, and through their concise accounts I feel as if I am now almost an expert on the state. I love the many quirky bits they uncovered like the B&B in the form of a giant Beagle, or the eccentric crazy house. In very few words, Michael pulls together a lot of historic and background information to add depth to his stories. There is no shortage of books that list the usual tourist attractions, entry costs, times of operation and such. This is all fine and good information to have, but Michael and Juergen take us into their world and the gems they have found along the way.
A big plus are the exquisite photographs that Juergen has taken. These are nothing short of being works of art. Not only does he regale us with shots that capture the natural beauty of the state, but he has a very keen eye for structures and machines - and how to capture their beauty as well. The sprinkling of short video clips is yet another dimension that truly enriches this book. Although it is not the type of travel book that is a collection of tourist information, they do add links to web sites for more details when appropriate. The only feature I found myself wanting was a map detailing their wanderings so as to give me a sense of where these places are.
Michael is a very talented writer who captures the spirit of places and the people who enliven them, and Juergen is a talented photographer whose work perfectly captures the essence of Michael's words. In tandem, the result is powerful. This book was a pure joy to read, and I am looking forward to making my way through their series. All I can say is kudos, thumbs up, and keep the presses rolling!!!!