Stephen's Reviews > River-Horse

River-Horse by William Least Heat-Moon
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's review
Dec 06, 11

Read from October 19, 2009 to December 06, 2011 — I own a copy

It took just over four years to read William Least-Heat Moon's "Blue Highways." This account of his trip around the United States in a live-aboard van named Ghost Dancer using only local roads is highly episodic and lends itself to bathroom reading. It took just over two years to read his "River-Horse," which I never would have attempted, had I not found his first book so engaging. He is a good storyteller and genuinely enjoys meeting and describing interesting people. His interests in geography, geology, ecology, history, race relations, religion, literature, psychology and several other disciplines are apparent. But River-Horse is just not as good. It suffers from a cyclicity which becomes monotonous: we set out, we encounter trouble which could kill us, sink the boat and/or end the journey, somehow we survive another day. Both the people and the places seem less interesting (and his treatment of them less whimsical). The author's vocabulary is prodigious (he holds a PhD in English from the University of Missouri, where he taught) and sent me to the dictionary on multiple occasions. I have no need to read farther into the Moon canon: not "PrairyErth" nor "Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey" nor "This Land Is Your Land: Across America by Air." But I really really liked "Blue Highways."


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Reading Progress

08/04/2011 page 375
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