high quality Blue popular Highways: A sale Journey into America online

high quality Blue popular Highways: A sale Journey into America online

high quality Blue popular Highways: A sale Journey into America online
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Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation''s backroads.


William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map -- if they get on at all -- only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi."

His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.

About the Author

William Least Heat-Moon is the author of the bestselling classics Roads to Quoz, Blue Highways, River Horse, and PrairyEarth. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
1,115 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

KarenEvans
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful, Lesser Known Travel Memoir
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2016
There are different books to read during different seasons; I read a lot of travel memoirs in the summer and this one was a masterpiece! Bill’s wife leaves him and he loses his job as an English professor around the same time so he decides to take off alone on a road trip... See more
There are different books to read during different seasons; I read a lot of travel memoirs in the summer and this one was a masterpiece! Bill’s wife leaves him and he loses his job as an English professor around the same time so he decides to take off alone on a road trip around America following what he calls the “blue highways”, roads that are blue on an atlas or essentially country highways. He avoids all expressways. Along the way he meets a host of interesting characters and documents his conversations with them and discusses the various restaurants where he dines; he determined that the more calendars a diner has, the better the food. Whenever I read during quiet time at the daycare, my students always excitedly ask me what is happening in my book. Unfortunately, they got a bit sick of me telling them that Bill was eating again, although I loved his descriptions of diner grub. His visit to a monastery was my favorite section of the book as he documented his conversation with a monk asking him about why he chose that lifestyle. I have an interest in stepping into other people’s shoes and seeing how people live differently in various communities so I found it fascinating. I think this curiosity is one reason I moved to country; I had never lived in the country before.
89 people found this helpful
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Chloe Patton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A beautiful book
Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2017
I first read this book when it came out in 1981 and I was 41 years old. And I loved it. Since then I''ve read it at least six times including recently. I am now 77 years old. Each time I read it I see things from a different perspective. It''s a beautiful book.
68 people found this helpful
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Dlorah
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mixed feelings
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2020
I liked the people he met and spoke with. However, his descriptions of the scenery, surroundings, and buildings were mostly uninteresting except when those had to do with the people he spoke with. I finished the book, so it must have been interesting on the overall, but... See more
I liked the people he met and spoke with. However, his descriptions of the scenery, surroundings, and buildings were mostly uninteresting except when those had to do with the people he spoke with. I finished the book, so it must have been interesting on the overall, but there were numerous small sections which I found confusing. Here is one example: "He (man) stands apart in such a temporary way it is hardly worth talking about. If that perception dims egocentrism, that illusion of what man is, then it also enlarges his self, that multiple yet whole part which he has been, will be, is. Ego, craving distinction belongs to the narrowness of now; but self, looking for union, belongs to the past and future, to the continuum, to the outside. Of all the visions of the Grandfathers the greatest is this: To seek the high concord, a man looks not deeper within- he reaches farther out." My reaction to this sort of thing is: What a bunch of pretentious sounding intellectual nonsense! IMHO Least Heat-Moon is at his best like when he quotes Tom Hunter "... sappin'' season''s time when the kids come home and my wife cooks for two hours to prepare a meal for the eleven of us." That kind of talk is fun to hear; I can picture it. So I ended up glad I had read the book and weathered the other stuff. If I had my way, I would have whittled the contents down to about a third the number of pages.
18 people found this helpful
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Ellen Drake
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I can identify
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2016
I love meeting people and I love going places. I''m the kind who, when out and about on an errand or toward a destination, sees a narrow shady road branching off the highway and wonders what''s down that road. Moon''s book takes me down those roads, introduces me to people I,... See more
I love meeting people and I love going places. I''m the kind who, when out and about on an errand or toward a destination, sees a narrow shady road branching off the highway and wonders what''s down that road. Moon''s book takes me down those roads, introduces me to people I, too, would like to meet. I''ve recommended this book to so many people--both after my first reading when it first came out (I gave a copy to my husband''s grandmother) and again now. I don''t know what they''re teaching in literature, writing, and culture classes these days--not to mention U.S. history--but I think this book could easily be fit into any of those courses. Book clubs should read it. I so wished I had someone to read it with so that I could share my thoughts on what I was getting out of it. I shared many passages on FB and others with my best friend (Kindle makes it easy). This is a book to read slowly, savoring the skillful writing, the apt descriptions, the colorful characters, the "philosophizing." I loved this book. Can you tell? I''ll read it again and again.
51 people found this helpful
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Philip Atlas Clausen
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gritty blue collar snapshot of America in 1982
Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2018
Very gritty blue collar snapshot of America in 1982. Least Heat-Moon needed to get away from home in Missouri where his marriage and career were disintegrating so he took this circular trip around the USA to clear his head and in so doing created one of the great... See more
Very gritty blue collar snapshot of America in 1982. Least Heat-Moon needed to get away from home in Missouri where his marriage and career were disintegrating so he took this circular trip around the USA to clear his head and in so doing created one of the great travelogues of all time. He''s not visiting glamour spots or drinking destinations of the travel brochures. He''s down, lost and confused. He wants to see how real people are living and getting on with life and maybe get a clue about his own place in life. And since he''s limited himself to the back roads, the blue-lines on the map, he meets mostly blue collars in the little out of the way places. A delightful plus and surprise to me was he took photo snapshots of the people he met and included them in the book. The man has a photographic mind for detail and dialog which got a little overwhelming at times.
27 people found this helpful
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W. R. Wakefield
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
For those who love America
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2017
If you love this country, and can put his writings from before 1980 in context with today''s social climate,you will love the book. It should be read with an atlas close by or, better yet, Google maps. It is richly rewarding to follow on a map or even aerial photograph... See more
If you love this country, and can put his writings from before 1980 in context with today''s social climate,you will love the book. It should be read with an atlas close by or, better yet, Google maps. It is richly rewarding to follow on a map or even aerial photograph exactly where the author travels. The interaction and dialog with fascinating people is rewarding. Much has changed in the almost 40 years since "the drive" was made but this only makes the contrast more poignant. A beautifully crafted book.
32 people found this helpful
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cosmikat
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
You can follow this trip on Google Earth by finding landmarks described in the text
Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2017
I love to read travelogues. This one is about a circular trip around the United States in a van, in the late 1970s (I think, the 70s. Maybe early 80s). There are descriptions of areas that I looked up on Google Earth and was entertained for hours while following these... See more
I love to read travelogues. This one is about a circular trip around the United States in a van, in the late 1970s (I think, the 70s. Maybe early 80s). There are descriptions of areas that I looked up on Google Earth and was entertained for hours while following these roadways to see what Least Heat-Moon was seeing. The author is an English major -- a professor, I believe -- and writes with an intellectual wittiness that I much appreciate. This particular book is beginning to age and yellow a bit, which makes me feel a little sad, because this book should definitely be reprinted and kept refreshed for more people to read.
15 people found this helpful
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WilliamBTop Contributor: Photography
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
On the old highway maps... That''s all you need to know!
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2018
If you think you might want to take an American road trip, buy and read this first. If you have no interest in road trips, buy and read this, and see if you don''t change your mind. I''ve given this book as a gift probably half a dozen times...and been enthusiastically... See more
If you think you might want to take an American road trip, buy and read this first. If you have no interest in road trips, buy and read this, and see if you don''t change your mind. I''ve given this book as a gift probably half a dozen times...and been enthusiastically thanked later every time. Maybe I pick the right people to receive it, or maybe this book is universally appealing. If you''ve read it already, you know what I''m talking about. If you haven''t read it, it''s not too late. Over thirty years old now, it''s as pertinent today as it ever was.
10 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

MH.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Revelatory
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2020
What a voyage! Absolutely superb. Almost as much an eye opener for the reader as it was for the author. This is a journey of two parts. It is firstly a voyage on the literal road. It is also a voyage of self-discovery. It certainly had me looking inwards. After having read...See more
What a voyage! Absolutely superb. Almost as much an eye opener for the reader as it was for the author. This is a journey of two parts. It is firstly a voyage on the literal road. It is also a voyage of self-discovery. It certainly had me looking inwards. After having read it, I have no strong, burning, insatiable inner desire to visit these places anymore as I once had. I have now been there with the author it seems. Such were the complete descriptions. The writer has a most remarkable way of bringing his experiences to the reader. He turns them from mere words into seemingly actual complete, imaginative whole memories. I feel like I have travelled with him. In a different age. On a different planet even! It is over 400 pages long and not once did my attention waiver. Not once did I get bored and not once did I wish for the journey to end. After “Life In The Woods” by Thoreau, this has been for me a life altering revelation. I recommend it to anyone who is still seeking. The most amazing quote in the book for me was this, borrowed from Henry Miller; “Our destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”.
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Jules
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hugely enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2020
A gentle and hugely engaging homage to both life on the road and a vibrant world away from the conventionally-agreed fast lane of life. Leaving both a vacant job and lost wife behind him, the author travels across the network of America''s minor roads to visit places with...See more
A gentle and hugely engaging homage to both life on the road and a vibrant world away from the conventionally-agreed fast lane of life. Leaving both a vacant job and lost wife behind him, the author travels across the network of America''s minor roads to visit places with impossible-sounding names, fascinating histories, and people rich in character, while gaining his own personal definition from living a life less ordinary. Instantly engaging and vividly described, I was engrossed from page one and have already recommended it to several people. Part travelogue, part philosophy, part life affirmation, this is a hugely enjoyable read.
One person found this helpful
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Philip R. James
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A masterclass in descriptive writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2015
I loved Travels With Charley, but I loved this book a whole lot more. It''s a masterclass in descriptive writing. William Least Heat-Moon''s eye for dialogue and detail is remarkable. He brings to life ''the road less travelled'' and the people he meets along the way. Their...See more
I loved Travels With Charley, but I loved this book a whole lot more. It''s a masterclass in descriptive writing. William Least Heat-Moon''s eye for dialogue and detail is remarkable. He brings to life ''the road less travelled'' and the people he meets along the way. Their worlds may, more than likely, have since been swallowed up by generic corporations, or otherwise changed by the passing of time. But this book can spirit you there and that''s the magic of this writer. My favourite writer (along with Wodehouse). It''s also an account of a person taking back control of his life, reducing living to its barest essentials - sleeping in the back of a simply converted Ford truck he named Ghost Dancing - and going in it wherever he pleases. In my view, Blue Highways deserves every accolade it has ever received, and I thank my lucky stars for the PBS documentary that introduced me to it.
5 people found this helpful
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Cocodemer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well worth reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2017
I found this book very interesting but, although we share the same language, I had difficulty following some of it. I feel I know a bit more about America and its inhabitants now.
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Andy B.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pack up and ship out
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2019
Well written and descriptive.
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