Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trying it Again . . . . with a review

I have missed writing. (Although, with a year and 8 month absence, that is probably a little difficult to believe.) For what it's worth, I have written a very few entries on the Sky Island Riders site. As we all know, "life happens" and priorities change, as does the amount of time one has to write on a blog.

One thing I have had a bit of time to do is read. I was watching a bit of television (usually NetFlix) most nights before I went to sleep. I realized that I had several books about scooter and motorcycle riding, that my loving bride had bought for me, laying around and that watching the tube was a poor way to show my appreciation for those gifts. I started spending some time reading most evenings. I have read some really good books, some average and some below average books over the past few months.

I have been feeling bad about not posting here and was trying to think of a good way to break back into the habit. Something quick and relatively easy to write sounded good. Then it occurred to me that I could start writing reviews of the books I have been reading. Some of the people I know may discover a good book or two, after all, the books I have been reading are not "high profile" and while some are very good, i don't think any have made the Billboard charts (with one exception, although I haven't decided for sure if I am going to review that one.)

Let's get one with it, shall we?

Long Rider - A tale of just passin' through by Mark Tiger Edmonds
. From the back cover: "Take a BMW motorcycle, one million miles and Mark Edmonds. Distill for 35 years. Result?You get an insightful, compassionate (and passionate) view of America and what it means to all of us who, after all, are "just passin' through."...Mr Edmonds' assessment of this country and the changes it's undergone remains as unswerving as his assessment of himself as he rides his own pilgrimage, just passin' through."

Tiger Edmonds is a motorcycle riding, poetry writing professor at a college in Florida. He writes like he talks and he talks like a biker. If you are offended by profanity and use of the "f-word" books by Mr Edmonds are not for you. For those who can appreciate passion, even if you don't agree with its author, you may love reading Edmonds' work as much as I do.

Longrider is Edmonds' first book. It is not his best, in my opinion, but it is still very good. As mentioned above, mark has more than a million miles on motorcycles. He has a poet's heart and a painter's eye and he writes and passionately about what he sees and experiences on his rides. I will review some of his other books soon, I hope.

I think, no, I KNOW, that my favorite chapter of Longrider is called Roadsongs. In this chapter Edmonds explains that "different roads have different songs." He describes different roads he has been on and that many roads have "songs" that they sing to you as you ride. A road in West Virginia along the Tug Fork "sounds more like "Amazing Grace" than anything I ever heard." Another road between Austin and Abilene, he says, sings "a slow polka with a pretty heavy oompah beat to it." Personally, I had noticed that different roads have given me different feelings (other than the differences in pavement/asphalt) but when I read this chapter I had an "Ahah!" moment. Now I am more attuned to the songs that various roads sing to me.
This road has a different song to sing.....

than this one. Don't you think?

Chapter Eleven is another favorite. In addition to amusing roadside repairs, there is a section about signs. I have a tendency to notice and take photos of interesting and/or humorous signs I see. I was glad to see someone else who has similar observations about such signs as I do.
Sorry for the poor quality, but this was taken with my cell phone, through the drive thru window at a local burrito shop.

Other things he muses about in Longrider include Dead Animals, Savior Waitresses, Ex-Wives, Winnebagos (he hates them)Zen, Truckers and the Girl with the Paisley Paint Job and many others.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back to the grind of maintaining a blog. :) "The best reviews", a writer friend told me once, "are those that make you want to read the book. Either because of the subject matter, the style or because your thinking the book can't be as bad as the reviewer made it seem."

    I want to read this book now...just for the bathroom signs and the girl with the Paisley paint job.