From bestselling, nationally celebrated author Howard Frank Mosher, a wildly funny and deeply personal account of his three-month, 20,000-mile sojourn to discover what he loved enough to live for.
Several months before novelist Howard Frank Mosher turned sixty-five, he learned that he had prostate cancer. Following forty-six intensive radiation treatments, Mosher set out alone in his twenty-year-old Chevy Celebrity on a monumental road trip and book tour across twenty-first-century America. From a chance meeting with an angry moose in northern New England to late-night walks on the wildest sides of America's largest cities, The Great Northern Express chronicles Mosher's escapades with an astonishing array of erudite bibliophiles, homeless hitchhikers, country crooners and strippers, and aspiring writers of all circumstances.
Full of high and low comedy and rollicking adventures, this is part travel memoir, part autobiography, and pure, anarchic fun. From coast to coast and border to border, this unforgettable adventure of a top-notch American writer demonstrates that, sometimes, in order to know who we truly are, we must turn the wheel towards home.
Mosher's voice is ebullient. His sense of humor plays lightly on themes of literature, mortality, and nostalgia, as if he were composing jazz riffs on an old banjo. Carl Hiaasen is quoted on the book jacket, comparing Mosher to Mark Twain - and the comparison is apt. It's a pleasure to be traveling in the company of his well-trained eye, always on the look-out for absurd conjunctions of American life. Like Twain, he locates poetry in the realm of the everyday - in the roadways and hotels and regular folks along the way. (Reviewed by Jennifer G Wilder).
Hilarious, poignant, and honest, this bittersweet memoir is a sheer delight to read.
Whimsical... Mosher provides a genial reminder that adventures are possible at any age.
Starred Review. Mosher colorfully weaves stories... to create a brilliantly vibrant quilt that covers us with his warmth, humor, and love of discovery, reading, and writing.
Mosher has always been a gifted storyteller; this time, there is an added euphoria in his storytelling - borne by the hope he and I share: for now, we have dodged a bullet that thirty thousand American men don't dodge every year.
The place with which Howard Frank Mosher is most associated is not actually his native home. Born in the Catskill Mountains in 1942, he moved to Vermont's "Northeast Kingdom" (or as he calls it, "The Kingdom") as a newlywed in 1964 to take up his first teaching post. According to the NEK (Vermont's Northeast Kingdom) website, The Kingdom "comprises the three northeastern-most counties of the state - Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans countries." This territory has strong ties to Canada and a rugged regional character linked to forestry and harsh winters. The woods and rivers, and even "the scent of varnish from the furniture factory," reminded Mosher of the Catskill and North Country New York towns where he grew up, and he decided to stay. He has built his literary career around the landscape and historical character of The Kingdom, carving a niche for himself as a modern-day regionalist.
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