I hesitated to buy this book at first, as it didn’t seem to have a clear theme or focus, apart from the obvious driving around America.
I was right and wrong.
My first impression was that the book is very slow to start. Nearly 100 pages in & they haven’t even gotten a car, they’re just in America & that’s about it. There was a little bit of a story (and even a backstory) developing but nothing much to hold my interest. In all honesty, the only reason I’ve read this far is that it’s very quick and easy to read.
But after that, the book does start to pick up.
It’s actually rather hard to describe this book. It doesn’t so much tell you about the destinations as it does the journey. As most people know, the things that happen along the way are often the trying and funny things we remember afterwards. I don’t want to spoil the book, just to frame your expectations, as most travel books I’ve read include a lot more about the destinations than this one does.
In the end though, I feet that this book focuses too little on the destinations and too much on personal story (outside that of a travel narrative). Of course, if you’re looking for something slightly “off the wall” then it would be ideal. I think my disappointment with this book was more about my expectations of what it was going to cover. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t been prejudiced in thinking it was a ‘traditional’ travel narrative.
There are some very useful tidbits of information within the book though – such as the strictness of speed limits (don’t go even one mile an hour over!) and don’t be a person who suffers from migraines (a CAT scan just to get some decent painkillers?!).
All in all, Drive Thru America is a good book, a relaxed read and will teach you things about travel that you probably wouldn’t have thought about before! (I guess that’s why one of the cover ‘promo’ quotes is from Tony Wheeler: “I would never hire these guys to write a guidebook”.)