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Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through…
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Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America

by George Mahood

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811,035,133 (4)1
2017 (2) Kindle (2) memoir (1) non-fiction (1) read (1) road trip (1)

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Overall this was an enjoyable but forgettable travelogue of the US. I enjoyed Mahood’s writing particularly when he threw in an amusing or sarcastic observation although at times he needs to be more careful that they are not dismissive of what he is writing about with clearly great fondness. Throughout the duration of his trip he certainly covered lots of ground and so the author is able to provide observations on both the East and West coasts as well as a trip through the South and the mid west. A lot of mileage and thus scale for one book.

Overall, and this may be because he wrote this after the fact armed with his 21 year old self’s journal of the time the writing has a tendency to fall into a pattern of ‘we drove to x and from there went to y before sleeping in z’. We are told a lot but don’t consistently get to see or feel his experiences, for example in his epilogue he references the number of Americans he met and how they feel about their country but most of his interactions are covered in a line or two with the exception of the other travellers he meets or the family he visits along the way.

I also felt the sub title was misleading – whilst there are undoubtedly small towns in this book they mostly get less than a paragraph whilst visits to Memphis, Chicago or Denver get significantly more coverage. This doesn’t make it bad by any means just not necessarily what I thought I was going to be reading.

Finally a large amount of the book reflected on the young author’s angst about being separated from his new girlfriend. Whilst undoubtedly a real emotion he was feeling at the time of travelling and his journal writing it took away time that could have been better served discussing what he was seeing and doing in the US. Readers of his other books which include one which covers his honeymoon may have enjoyed these sections more than I did but for me they felt flat and out of place.
  itchyfeetreader | Apr 30, 2018 |
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Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true cliched fashion to discover the real America. Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine - the worst car in the world - and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California? And then there is Rachel, George's girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?… (more)

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