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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travels in Hawaii and Other States
Josie Dew's books about her travels around the world on her bicycle remind me a little of Dervla Murphy's narratives, but Dew wears her politics a bit more lightly than Murphy. Traveling slowly and in the open allows the cyclist to observe social conditions at close range, while the long stretches of road leave plenty of time to ponder what it all means.

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Published on 2 May 2012 by takingadayoff

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and a bit dull.
Desipte being billed as "cycling across the usa" over half the book covers Hawaii. Of the rest, it seems as though it is mostly complaints about the landscape being desert or cornfields.

Added to this are the repetitive accounts of guns, murders, rapes and shootings making this a rather dull book.
Published on 16 April 2006 by andys


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and a bit dull., 16 April 2006
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Desipte being billed as "cycling across the usa" over half the book covers Hawaii. Of the rest, it seems as though it is mostly complaints about the landscape being desert or cornfields.

Added to this are the repetitive accounts of guns, murders, rapes and shootings making this a rather dull book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travels in Hawaii and Other States, 2 May 2012
By 
takingadayoff "takingadayoff" (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
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Josie Dew's books about her travels around the world on her bicycle remind me a little of Dervla Murphy's narratives, but Dew wears her politics a bit more lightly than Murphy. Traveling slowly and in the open allows the cyclist to observe social conditions at close range, while the long stretches of road leave plenty of time to ponder what it all means.

In Travels in a Strange State, Dew flies into Oakland and sets out to cycle down the coast into Mexico. After a few days in the Bay Area, she considers traveling up the coast into Alaska instead. Eventually she heads south, stops in Los Angeles for a few weeks, then impulsively decides to fly to Hawaii. This turns out to be the best decision of the trip, because she falls in love with Hawaii.

In fact, by the time we're halfway through the book, she's still in Hawaii, the smallest state in the union. She still has the rest of the country to get to if she's going to write about traveling across the States.

She finally makes her way back to Los Angeles and from there it's on to Las Vegas. If you've ever driven from L.A. to Las Vegas, you know what a desolate stretch it is. I can't imagine bicycling it, but Josie does it, in 100 degree temperatures and air so dry she has to stop regularly to tend to nosebleeds.

From Las Vegas, she charges on through Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. Although this takes weeks of actual time, it goes pretty fast in the book. One stretch of mid-western highway is much like another, as anyone who's driven cross country knows. It isn't until Dew stops in Illinois to meet up with her mother who has flown in from England, that the narrative picks up the pace again.

Staying with American relatives allows Dew to see a more middle class side of America than she normally gets to meet on the road. Bicycling along open highway brings her into contact with any number of homeless people, truckers, hitchhikers, and youth hostelers from other countries. The suburbs of Illinois give her a different perspective.

Josie Dew writes about the people she meets and the sights she sees, and she shares a bit of the history of the places she finds herself. Listening to the radio at night as she falls asleep in her tent adds to her collection of local color.

I've read many travel narratives of exotic lands I will probably never see, but reading Dew's account of her travels in the country I've spent most of my life in gave me a look at America from an unusual and not very attractive angle. It was a little like looking in a three-way mirror and finding out what you look like from the back. Yes, your butt is that big.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hawiian Red Herring, 14 Jun 2011
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I enjoy Josie Dew books and this one was no exception until we reached the Hawiian Islands. A third of the book was spent visiting each island. I would have oreferred more time written on the American mainland.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully ambiguous title, 28 Jan 2011
I'm always in awe of people who write books, and some of them are worth reading. This is one of them, as are all of Josie's books. I find it a bit scary in places, but nonetheless Josie leads us through the dark and back into the light. And there is plenty of light!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Travelling in an area I know so well !, 29 July 2010
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Helen Lore Zetter "helen zetter" (wisboroughgreen w.susex u.k.) - See all my reviews
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This a book which is very readable,easy to put down and then pick up again where you left off.'Josie Dew' being a well traveled young lady makes one feel confident she can handle difficult situataions well with odd people or the climate.Cycling arround the islands of Hawaii there is certainly a fair amount to see and experience which she tells in a very fluid easy to read way.An ideal holiday read for the beach.Her journey accross the desert cycling to Las Vagas is not a thing I would have undertaken,but it was certainly worth reading about.
On the whole a good light read for all the family.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She's still travelling, but it takes more courage., 8 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Travels In A Strange State: Cycling Across the USA (Paperback)
Following on from the delightful, "Wind in my Wheels" JD is travelling in the USA. Although her effervescent character still shines through, the bad experiences in Bulgaria described in the earlier book have clearly dented her insouciance and confidence that things will be okay. The book is therefore much darker, and more anxiety is described than pleasure. Its still a great read, and those who enjoyed the first book will want to know how she gets on. You just end up more concerned about her.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still pedaling, 23 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Travels In A Strange State: Cycling Across the USA (Paperback)
Josie Dew's welcome second book of her exploits touring by bicycle. Whilst her first was centred on Europe this cover the USA. Like most good travel writing, the account is a very personal perspective on what she sees, it's not a tourist board brochure. Yes, a fair proportion of the book is spent on the Hawaiian Isles, but most of the book is in mainland US.
She writes with great humour, telling life as it seems from the saddle and the roadside, both good and bad.
If not quite as fresh or humourous as 'The Wind in My Wheels' this is still a great read.
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Travels In A Strange State: Cycling Across the USA
Travels In A Strange State: Cycling Across the USA by Josie Dew (Paperback - 1 Jun 1995)
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