Throwback Thursday: Review of All Gone To Look For America, by Peter Millar

Forgot to post on Thursday!

This edition was published 2012, just before Obama was voted in as the first black President. The potential in that is palpable throughout the book.

A travelogue is my absolute favourite genre. I would love to jump on a train or hire an unusual car and take myself across a country, exploring everywhere I’ve only ever seen on the TV. However I definitely lack the confidence, never mind the holiday days or the funds!

So I always pick one up when I see one. I have all the Brysons, and every book Tim Moore has written. This book from a charity shop is a perfect example, a journey across the United States, by train, which surprisingly for a country built on and by the railway is rather difficult and cumbersome to do. The author did have to resort to a car at least once to make connections, to save backtracking to past cities.

I cannot quite imagine a train journey that takes days, but he makes several. America is orders of magnitude bigger than us Brits are used to. And he experiences amazing silver trains with observation decks, rolling across huge open vistas. And the strange fact Americans have to climb up to board trains, they aren’t at platform level like ours.

Peter delves into the history of the places he steps off the train, be it Graceland, Niagara Falls or Dinosaur country. He is often funny, sometimes poignant and always searingly honest.

I’ve found he has also written a book called Marrakesh Express so I’m going to seek that out next. If you can find All Gone, I highly recommend it.


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