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7 Trips for the Price of One by [Gale, Cliff]
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Length: 265 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Personal Care Publishing; 1 edition (22 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BZLFUS0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,080,613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b22e3e4) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b740924) out of 5 stars No matter how many layers you peel off of THIS onion, you'll be left wanting more 26 July 2014
By Whistlers Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On the surface, this is the story of a family of six taking a month-long tour of the U.S. The father is a small business owner and has just lost a large contract, which leaves him free to take a vacation for the first time in many years. His wife is a stay-at-home Mom and the kids are 10, 12, 14, and almost-16. The van is named "Vangogh" and the video camera is named "Sonny." They're kind of a quirky bunch.

They travel from their home in rural Maryland to Kentucky and on to Nashville. All are demon country music fans and there are sightings and encounters and talk about music stars that I've never heard of, but which will probably be familiar to other readers. Little Jimmy Dickens tries to sneak a smoke in the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame and gets kicked out. Smoking really DOES stunt your growth.

Then it's on to Hot Springs, through Texas, the Grand Canyon and the Pacific Ocean. They return via Las Vegas (for the Country Music Awards) and Colorado and Wyoming, hitting most of the national parks. In the Midwest, they stay with relatives and visit Chicago. After a whirlwind visit to New York City and a peek at the Atlantic, they are back home in Maryland. The Dad narrates the book and all four kids give their views of different attractions and experiences. They are intelligent, lively, articulate people and if that's all there was to the book it would still be an enjoyable read.

It's much more than a light travelogue. The author was the child of a mentally ill mother and an absent father. He and his brothers spent most of their childhoods in foster homes in New Jersey. At eighteen, ejected from the foster care system and with no family, he joined a religious cult which gave him a sense of belonging. After many years, he broke from the group, went to college, married, fathered four children, and became a successful self-employed family man. He sounds like a success story (and is) but the scars are there and he's honest about them. Even if he weren't, a perceptive reader would pick up on it.

His wife is a shadowy figure. She's from a loving, religious family and grew up in the Chicago area and went to college in Colorado. She never contributes to the narrative, but surveys people they meet, asking each one the question "Who's the most loving person you know?" Predictably, the answers are all over the board. The children are home-schooled, although they belong to a 4-H chapter and to a home-schooling "umbrella" group that provides variation and experiences outside the home. They seem bright, thoughtful, and naive.

This book is fascinating and compelling because so much is hinted at, but never fully explained. The author calls himself an "alleged heretic" and says that his wife was excommunicated from a religious group because of her association with him, but never says what group it was. Some of the people they visit are Mennonites, but some of her Midwest relatives clearly AREN'T Mennonite. They visit the Focus on the Family headquarters and he mentions what an influence that group has been on his family. However, they attend church services only once during their trip and one daughter writes poignantly of how much she loves going to church and how infrequently she is able to do so.

He seems obsessed with insuring that his children bond and develop close, life-long ties, understandable since he has no contact with his brothers or any family members. He finds the world evil and mentions that his children have become frightened of the "outside" world and that his wife is troubled by that. He mentions stresses in his marriage and the toll that marital fighting takes on the children, but never explains the problems between him and his wife (which he hints are serious.) His childhood provided no experience in how a "normal" family (if here is such a thing) works. Perhaps he believes (consciously or unconsciously) that his wife and children have it so much better than he had it that they should be endlessly, mindlessly happy at all times. Perhaps, like all parents, he wants to give his children what he didn't have when he was growing up and shield them from unhappiness and bad decisions. Like all parents, he'll have to accept that NO child thinks his life is perfect and that each child must eventually follow his own path.

I never figured out the title. It reminds me of the old joke "Two can live as cheaply as one if one of them doesn't eat." Since there are only six people in the family, he seems to be counting himself twice, which is strange. But he IS strange or odd or quirky. He writes well and he's an interesting man with an interesting past and present. I hope he keeps writing. I would like to know more about his family and how things work out for them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0140d8) out of 5 stars I love this book!!!! 22 April 2013
By Rich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writer is transparent and honest throughout the book and because it had quotes of situations from several perspectives I found it very unique,funny and adorable.
I would buy a sequel in a heartbeat.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cf5a33c) out of 5 stars I would like to do the same thing 26 Mar. 2013
By Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was working on our income tax when I heard the new book was on Amazon so I left the tax stuff and went to the computer. I have purchased study books before using Amazon so I went to Amazon.com and put the author"s name, Cliff Gale, in the search box. Sure enough a picture of the book cover with the title, 7 Trips for the Price of One, came up. I read the review and it sounded like my kind of book so I bought it to read using Kindle. I love to travel and have many wonderful memories of a one week travel trip to different places each year when our children were old enough to enjoy the time. The 7 Trips for the Price of One just makes me want to get in the car and GO!! The book is fun, well written and informative with family interaction. We have a granddaughter who says I can't love things, only people, but I especially loved the songs the family sang on the last part of a wonderful journey. Read it you will like it.
HASH(0x8b2f2210) out of 5 stars It has Heart 8 Feb. 2015
By Heretic John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was quirky and fun, the author is honest without being overly revealing. He's a good writer and the book has heart. I used to know him 38-40 years ago and haven't seen him since... he's speaking the truth about the bits that I know about way back then. In fact I think the last time I actually saw Cliff Gale was in 1978... he was hitch hiking... A good read.
HASH(0x8bc908dc) out of 5 stars Fun book. Very diverse points of view (without offending ... 1 Sept. 2014
By no pen name - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this on a road trip to Yellowstone. Fun book. Very diverse points of view (without offending the reader).
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