Well done Peter Millar ! The Northern Irishman gives a thoroughly engrossing , witty , and informative account of travel across America in that much maligned - and often overlooked -form of slow transport : the Amtrak train . However , its not an rail anorak's book at all . He uses the train as a means to an end to explore the cities , out of the way places , and people across this vast and diverse country - with scenery along the way . And nowhere does it more close up - warts and all - than spending a few weeks travelling by train .
Along the way he vistits NYC , Buffalo / Niagara , Chicago , Seattle , Sacramento , Reno , Salt Lake City , Denver , LA , and New Orleans , among others . His style is perhaps more Paul Theroux than Bill Bryson but I found his style thoroughly engaging with his take on inner city decay , the decline of the rail system and the people who use it , the Mormon church , American beer , the Civil War , and many other sights and people on the way . A rare mix of intelligent writing with a twinkle in the eye . Informative without being boring , opinionated without being arrogant , and amusing without being crass . Perfect !
Can't praise this book highly enough and even has me contemplating about doing a similar journey myself sometime in the future .