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Blue Highways by William Least Heat-MoonWilliam Least Heat-Moon

Blue Highways has to be one of the most profound literary travelogues I’ve ever read. It’s almost 20 years old now, but his portraits of America — its people and its geographies — remain unequaled and in the process he gives of himself. For all you Kerouac fans, you might have a new hero for an author, or at least one who you can relate to in a whole new way.


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4 Comments

Thank you for the reminder. I hadn't thought about that book in years -- I'm going to pull it out and dive in --

Most welcome!

And please check out his second book "Prairy Erth: A Deep Map." It's a long, beautiful meditation on some county in rural Kansas where a coastal person like me might show up, look around, pronounce "Man, there's nothing here!" and move on. But he proves that if one quiets oneself long enough and has the will to dive into the land, there are stories worth telling even in such an apparently barren landscape. Brilliant and well worth the read.

His other book "River Horse" is terriffic as well. My favorite line from that one: "Sometimes all you can do is commit to the flood and believe yourself lucky." I think he's only written the three, but it's a wonderful body of work. Thanks for reminding me of those books!

--Matt

I couldn't agree more with you, Matt. When I was a younger man waiting tables at a restaurant on the Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota, I actually met Mr. Least Heat-Moon while he was paddling the Missouri River and writing River Horse. Alas, the restaurant I worked at or the server that waited on him... *grin*