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Travels In A Strange State: Cycling Across the USA Paperback – 1 Jun 1995

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (1 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751505757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751505757
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,647,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

an action packed and entertaining tale... (19 Magazine)

it is her well-developed sense of the ridiculous which makes her adventures so entertaining. (TODAY)

You might not let your daughter do it. But then again, if she could produce such an entertaining book as this, you just might. (GUARDIAN)

Book Description

* A highly entertaining memoir of an improbable journey, revealing the United States as it is rarely seen - from the seat of a bicycle

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By takingadayoff TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 May 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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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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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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Format: 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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