I found the short writings within the pages to be filled with humor and interesting tidbits of information regarding America, especially the states of Kansas and Missouri. Least Heat=Moon infuses his writings with quips that make the reader grin and even laugh out loud.
His journey through Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi in order to find William Faulkner was a wonderful story. This particular story was filled with snippets of rural-sounding speech, and an accent unique to the locale. He and his friend, who was traveling with him, more or less had a grand tour. There were moments of comic relief for the author, humor unanticipated, due to a gesture made by the person guiding them.
Another story that I eagerly read concerned Yosemite National Park. There were elements about Yosemite I did not know of (written about in the second paragraph), and I found them to be compelling.
His travels on Long Island had me inhaling and tasting the oysters and little neck clams I grew up eating, and the story held me in nostalgic attentiveness. I was brought up on Long Island, and I recognized so much of what he wrote about, having been from one end to the other, north to south, during my 26 years living there. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation of that trip.
From Japan to England, across America, and more, Least Heat-Moon’s treks are always written with visually vivid word-paintings. This reader was swept away with some of his delightful prose, and with his ability to use humor to laugh at himself in certain scenarios, such as book hunting in England with his guide, and also his moment when tasting a certain food in the far Scotland Islands. I laughed out loud at some of the quips in that story.
I was also impressed with his and insights, as far as his pondering subjects such as extinction, ancient civilizations and even his thoughts on war, while in Japan, being guided by a Japanese translator.
I found Here, There, Elsewhere: Stories from the Road to be a fascinating read, and an interesting and enjoyable journey taken through reading the short stories within the book. I recommend it.
Thank you to Goodreads and to Little, Brown and Company for the Advanced Proof copy.
December 26, 2012 – 13 Tevet, 5773