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Dog Days - Tales from an American Road Trip: American Travel Stories by [Thompson, Andrew]
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Dog Days - Tales from an American Road Trip: American Travel Stories Kindle Edition

2.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 22 Mar 2014
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Length: 299 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4195 KB
  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Fingerpress (22 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J77B5O2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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I've never felt the desire to write a review before. However the author appears to be a bit of a idiot and I felt compelled to write something. Its hard to believe he is as much of a prat as he appears but his constant belligerent altercations with pretty much everyone he talks to and condescending attitudes to people he doesn't bother to talk to are pretty incredible. Not to mention his borderline racism, homophobia and obvious distaste for anyone working class. If it is a deliberate attempt to attain a grumpy, cantankerous yet wry and amusing tone then he has failed. You need to balance the acid with wit and warmth, not sneer endlessly.
I felt sorry for his girlfriend Lucy: no wonder she wanted to go home every 10 days if she had to listen to (and evidently mutely agree with) his patronising nonsense about everything and everyone.
Particularly irritating along these lines is his infantile desire to have a 'theological' debate with a barman who he has just met, with the obvious intention to belittle him. I would have thought that after while, when every encounter with another human being follows the same abrasive course, the author would have begun to question whether he should re-think how he approaches people. But then the idea of self reflection doesn't seem to occur to our author. If his intellect was a sharp as he assumes, he may have had some interesting or perceptive things to say about America, it's people and culture. However it's evident he's happy to assume whatever happens is because everyone and everything else is stupid (or black or fat or poor).
There are far more interesting, amusing and observant books about travelling around the USA, that will tell you more about the country and it's people, both good and bad, than this rather bitter, contemptuous self-aggrandising effort.
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This book made interesting reading as we did a similar trip and visited lots of the same places - and encountered some of the same snags and people! For anyone planning a road trip in the US this is worth reading for an insight into what lies behind the glossy brochures and guidebooks.
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It takes a lot for me to dislike a book and give it a one star rating, however I’m making an exception for this book. I love reading travel books, especially about destinations I have visited or am planning to visit, and I have always enjoyed other peoples’ anecdotes about their travels, which have mostly been pleasant experiences that have changed them for the better, with the occasional horror story thrown in – this is normal in every travel experience.
However, Dog Days is simply a whingefest from start to end. It follows the foul mouthed author and his bats*** crazy temperamental girlfriend on a three month tour across the US by Greyhound and hire car. Expect to read nothing but disparaging remarks about everyone and everything this couple sees. The burgers are too greasy; ‘Mustang Men’ keep staring at his girlfriend; ‘Dawg’ buses are dirty and full of ‘immigrants and undesirables’; people in the US can’t drive (or for that matter can’t think); irrational tirades against tipping waiters who earn minimum wage; ‘black women usually hate (him)’ and are usually Greyhound employees who are ‘black, fat and angry’; referring to Ireland as ‘small, like the people’ when meeting an Irish barman for the first time in Boston and then proceeding in a bellicose manner to insult his Catholicism. I could go on, as there are many more disdainful rants…….
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This is a very personal account of the author`s USA trip and is really an account of his relationship with his fellow traveller Lucy. The romance is contrasted by the bitterness and cynicism with which he approaches the country. His rants against the USA`s military and motorcyclists are unhelpful at best. The overall impression is that he didn't` enjoy much of the trip at all.
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Really enjoyed this book. I love the US even the dark underbelly, and this gives you everything US - warts and all !! It made me smile a lot, and feel sad in places. Always loving the road trip though.
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Andrew Thompson appears to have everything going for him. He has enough money to travel and stay in decent hotels, a beautiful girlfriend, and the youth and time to enjoy his good fortune. And yet - like the American Dream itself - not everything is as perfect as it might first seem: they both appear to drink too much, she regularly descends into foul black moods, and he is frequently driven to distraction by the behaviour of slow witted locals. This anger and frustration finds voice in a kind of anti-travel writing that is not so much irreverent as hilariously rude (think more Basil Fawlty than Bill Bryson). In one memorable scene he reduces the font size on his notepad to 7, while riding on the greyhound bus - known as 'the dawg' to 'the Yanks' - so fellow passengers won't see what he is writing about them. At other times - when dealing with receptionists, bar tenders, waiters and Greyhound counter staff - he is far more confrontational.
Despite their daily frustrations, and the complications of a loving but seemingly doomed relationship, they drive on through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, meet many great characters, and have some wonderful experiences. It's just that what really sticks in your mind and engages you as a reader are their relationship difficulties, the near muggings or rip-offs, and the relentless rants against all that is wrong in the land of the free. It is this merciless bitching, however, that really gives 'Dog Days' its bite.
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