***1/2 Cross Country
Fifteen Years and 90,000 Miles on the Roads and Interstates of America with Lewis and Clark, a Lot of Bad Motels, a Moving Van, Emily Post, Jack Kerouac, My Wife, My Mother-In-Law, Two Kids, and Enough Coffee to Kill an Elephant. By Robert Sullivan On and on and on, on the road. If the subtitle doesn't sum up Cross Country, here's another crack at it: On a trek from Portland to New York, just one of more than two dozen cross-country trips he's taken, writer Robert Sullivan whiles away the miles by engaging his whirring mind with the history of interstate travel, the development of coffee-cup lids, Beat poets, and the Cannonball Run road race. Despite the pervasive presence of chain stores and motels, the author celebrates his conviction that putting wheels to tarmac is an essential component of American individualism.
Bloomsbury. 256 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 1582345279
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ****1/2
"Sullivan changes subjects almost as often as the Impala must have changed lanes, but he is a master of jazz narrative, so many twists and turns that readers can only be enthralled and bedazzled." JOHN MARSHALL
Boston Globe ****
"One of the happy discoveries of Cross Country is that the feeling of traveling where many have traveled before is as old as America itself." JOHN FREEMAN
Cleveland Plain Dealer ****
"Freeway ruminations become explorations of the sociology, psychology, and history of driving America's longest roads." DANIEL DYER
NY Times Book Review ****
"Though technically a travel memoir, Cross Country aspires to be much more: a survey of cross-country road trips written with the languid pace and arcane detail that might characterize a six-day drive...