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Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill Paperback – 7 Feb 2013
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'Boggan’s random and democratic MO means that he gets to hang out with everyone from fire marshalls to rock bands in this enjoyable travelogue with a difference, which might appeal to readers of Bill Bryson or Tony Hawks.’(The Herald)
'Told with boyish good humour and enthusiasm for the pursuit of the note, the tale offers random changes of pace and scenery that keep the reader engaged and keeps curiosity levels high.'(Good Book Guide)
'I absolutely loved this book'(Frank Cottrell Boyce)
‘A terrific read’(Rosie Boycott)
‘A compelling, inspiring and oddly reassuring portrait of modern America. Fantastic debut.'(Time Out 5 Star Review)
'Its randomness is its joy'(Independent)
'A picaresque travelogue about chasing an idea through down-home modern America'(The Times)
'Steve Boggan's quest to plant a ten dollar bill into the heart of America...is an astute one.'(We Love This Book)
'The strength of Boggan's writing is the clear, clean and non-judgemental prose style that lets the remarkable and disparate lives of those he encounters speak for themselves. Heart-warming, fascinating stuff.'(Big Issue)
‘Thoroughly enjoyable debut, in the vein of Louis Theroux and Jon Ronson, which gives us an intelligent and humorous portrait of an America tourists rarely see’(The Bookseller)
'An interesting book from an exciting new publisher'(Conde Nast Traveller)
'I can't remember reading a book where the author is continually making fun of himself yet becomes more and more admirable and likeable as the book goes on. He has created a cast of interesting and entertaining characters that are vivid, memorable, and a pleasure to hang out with. The book is an unexpected delight.’(Luke Rhinehart/George Cockcroft, The Dice Man.)
'Boggan has constructed a hugely endearing narrative personality...his raconteurship has you chuckling as the author ill-advisedly microwaves his underwear, delightedly discovers a "drive-thru bottle shop", and generally behaves, in refreshing contrast to the exhausting get-up-and-go of the travel genre, with a lovably shambolic lassitude'(Guardian)
About the Author
STEVE BOGGAN was Chief Reporter of the Independent and co-founder of the investigations unit before moving into feature writing, which he now does for the Guardian, The Times and the Evening Standard. He lives in London.
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Top customer reviews
Although this is classified as being a travel book it isn't the places Steve Boggan visited but the people he met during his journey that makes this book a memorable read. Boggan first tenders the ten dollar bill in the small town of Lebanon, chosen because it is the place originally calculated as being the centre of the USA. I personally thought that this was an odd place to start this adventure, surely Wall Street, the financial capital or Fort Worth, where dollar bills are printed, would have been a more fitting choice, but that is one of the few things that I could criticise this book about. I'm not sure if Boggan was lucky or whether it is because they are written about in an extremely skilful manner, but each person that receives the ten dollar bill has an interesting story to tell and each of their stories gives the reader a remarkable insight into the lives of the ordinary American. Not only that, but in doing so, we learn a great deal more about modern-day America than we would ever find out from television news or the national press.
Steve Boggan deserves a pat on the back for turning what doesn't seem the most promising scenario (I only decided to read it because of the eye-catching cover) into an engrossing book.
I must admit I found the idea of following a ten dollar note around America as it passed from user to user fascinating and longed to read the book.
When offered the chance to read and review the book for Amazon Vine I jumped at the chance.
Therefore I received the book with high expectations.
I read the book within 4 days taking it at a leisurely pace.
First I need to explain what the book is about.
Steve Boggan received a phone call from Merope Mills the editor of the Guardian's Weekend Magazine. She wanted him to follow a ten pound note and write about the people that it came into contact with.
The article was a success and the logical step would be to do a similar trail but in the USA following a Ten Dollar Note for 30 days.
Steve's task really grabbed my attention and some of the more interersting things he discovered really caught my attention. I would have looked out for and bought the book.
The book can only be as interesting as the people the ten dollar note comes into contact with.
So rather than starting in say a big and let's face it obvious City like New York or San Francisco Boggan chose to start from roughly the centre of the USA.
and so he would be starting in a much lesser know area of the USA.
I really enjoyed the book and in the notes travels Steve met some really interesdting people and of course their lives and circumstances.
This is really exotic and foreign to reader in the UK. We understand the language but the reference points are all different. The USA is a foreign country.
What I found really good was Boggan's depiction of America in trouble or rathewr having problems.
For example in Kansas the local populations are falling. The yound no longer want to work on Dad's farm out in the middle of nowhere with no cinema nor 24 hour pizza nor the prospect of a well paid job.
Small town America is having problems and those problems are some I have seen to be reflected over in the UK in the rural areas.
The people he meets are ordinary each is special in their own way but do not be expecting the glamourous Beverley Hills sect.
I think I may have ben expecting a great deal more from the people he meets and was a little disappointed BUT and this is a big but Steve Boggan wrote what he found there is no fiction to his stories.
What was ood is that at times we actually got inside Steve's mind on his travels.
I for one could have read a whole lot more about that but I imagine that would have dragged up a whole lot of bad memories for Steve and too many skeletons would have been tumbled out of the closet?
Several events that you would never have predicted cxame to mind and were touching.
He meets a family with two delightful children who begine to show him their toys then the young girl brings out a photograph of her sister....
The sister is dead and the whole bitter sad story comes out.
So too does the confession from a grizzled Vietnam Vet who had never revealed his experiences in the Viet Nam conflict and so on.
The book is a rewarding read and enjoyable if only I had not had such high hopes and expectations I would have given the book 4 and a half stars.
Recommended a rewarding read.
Steve Boggan is a journalist and took time off to sponsor himself on this road trip. During his travels Boggan met missionaries, musicians and deer hunters and got to visit dying towns and a fabulous mansion belonging to a famous quarterback footballer.
So, what's not to like in this travel tale? Well, unfortunately, for me, it didn't excite or inspire. It must be me because this is a former Radio 4 book of the week and they don't select boring books, I've bought many on the strength of the ones featured. I struggled to finish this book. It was obvious that Boggan thoroughly enjoyed his time with the rock band and the deer hunter and his daughter but I found these sections over-long and tedious. However, to be fair to him, Boggan was stuck in a place until such a time that the dollar bill changed hands. I was not keen on the writer's style and whilst very few can be compared to Bill Bryson, it's horses for courses and Boggan just didn't do it for me.