'Thoughout that afternoon and the next morning the realisation slowly grew on me that I had accidentally found something I hadn't really expected to find: the dream road, the good-as-it-gets road, the ideal path into the heart of the great steppe. US 2 had everything - the widest vistas, the greatest skies, and more history than any one traveller could hope to exhaust: Lewis and Clark, the Missouri, the mountain men, the Cheyenne, the Sioux, Sitting Bull, the Yellowstone ...' From Duluth, Minnesota to New Orleans, from LA to Alberquerque, from Washington DC to Dallas, from Boston to the Florida Keys, Larry McMurtry rides the long highways that criss-cross the North American continent. Like mighty rivers, they cut a path through the wilderness and carry people and goods for thousands of miles. Larry, a child and chronicler of the West and its wild past, is more at home travelling the Great Plains or the Montana wilderness or Louisiana's Atchafalaya swamp than he is traversing the more manicured lands of the eastern seaboard. As one would expect, his approach to travel writing is entirely subjective and personal.
His voice is intimate and the reader becomes his companion and confidant. He envies Newby and longs for a Wanda to accompany him, but in a way the reader is his Wanda. He is discursive and anecdotal, and is unmasked as a competitor to Alistair Cooke as he holds forth most entertainingly on other writers (he's amazingly well read), history, what people did, said, thought, wore in no particular order. If he can stray from the point, he will, and the result is rich, nostalgic, cultural, beguiling and a must for any romantic soul who has ever longed to travel those wide open spaces where the buffalo roam under an endless sky.show more