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4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, entertaining and informative
This is the third book I have read by Mick Brown, and I have enjoyed them all. I find him very easy to read whilst at the same time getting a sense that he is probing to the heart of a place. The classic songs of America are used as a vehicle (excuse the pun) for getting from place to place (Baltimore, San Jose, Nashville etc), but the book is really about comparing the...
Published 23 months ago by BrynG

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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Some good stories but not not overly gripping.
Published 3 months ago by Mr Fred McBreen


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4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, entertaining and informative, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: American Heartbeat: Travels from Woodstock to San Jose by Song Title (Paperback)
This is the third book I have read by Mick Brown, and I have enjoyed them all. I find him very easy to read whilst at the same time getting a sense that he is probing to the heart of a place. The classic songs of America are used as a vehicle (excuse the pun) for getting from place to place (Baltimore, San Jose, Nashville etc), but the book is really about comparing the idealised version of America portrayed in (most of) the songs, versus the actual America he finds. Brown concludes that the American dream is simply not being realised, with people feeling isolated (the car), fearful (lack of community) and unfulfilled by rampant commercialism.
In 2009 I spent 4 weeks cycling in the midwest between Nashville and Chicago, and the America I saw was very much the one the author portrays. Most people I met thought I was mad to be cycling in the first place (you may well agree!), but I was most struck with just how many people thought I was taking a huge risk on my own in such a dangerous country. This sense of danger rather rubbed off on me and in the end I caught a train for the last 150 miles into Chicago. Primarily this was because so many people had recommended that if I really insisted on cycling all the way then I must take a gun with me! Whether this fear was real or imaginary I have no idea, but this was an aspect of America that Mick Brown also picks up on in this very entertaining read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 15 Sep 2014
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This review is from: American Heartbeat: Travels from Woodstock to San Jose by Song Title (Paperback)
Some good stories but not not overly gripping.
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