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States of Confusion: My 19,000-Mile Detour to Find Direction

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Rather than deal with the problems he was facing as a recent college grad, Paul Jury decided to leave them in his rearview mirror. He might not have known the direction his life was headed, but he knew the route he was taking to hit all forty-eight contiguous states on one epic road trip.

Filled with plenty of adventure and the unforeseen obstacle (or twelve), States of Con
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 18th 2011 by Adams Media (first published April 15th 2011)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  266 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Part of me really enjoyed this book, and the rest of me wanted to slap the shit out of Paul for the entire thing. It's not even really his fault that I wanted to slap him, its just that I get totally annoyed when people believe that they are alone in what they are feeling. Like no one in the history of ever has been where you are, feeling what you are feeling. Seriously? There have been billions of people over thousands of years and you think you are the first person to ever feel this way?

I k
Drew Wilkerson
May 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Disappointed. As a road trip lover, I would've liked to hear more about the places Jury visited and less about his internal struggles.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-biography
Was I this annoyingly self centered when I was 23? Yeah, I probably was.

Some funny stories about a man who takes off to find himself when he can't figure out what to do for his life. I felt sorry for his long suffering girlfriend.
May 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Three-line review: Seriously, there needs to be some sort of law that keeps 20-something guys from writing books about their "journeys" to find themselves in the world. Every single one is self-centered and selfish, laced with privilege and a female character who ultimately takes the fall. This book fits right into that category, only it's a bit worse because Jury races through the U.S. on four wheels without experiencing anything meaningful and spewing car exhaust into the atmosphere as he goes ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Another college graduate with a degree that doesn't result in an instant awesome job. Sigh. Why do parents let their kids major in things like film studies and rack up the college debt? I'm telling you the same thing that I tell my daughter--if she's majoring in something that makes no money, she will go to community college. Only. If she wants to be a lawyer or doctor or engineer, I'll fork over the big bucks for a high dollar school like Rose Hulman a few miles away or Illinois. But I'm not pa ...more
Aug 01, 2011 added it
A friend sent me the author's "50 States in 2 Minutes" YouTube video a few months back, and I wanted the book immediately, though I was afraid to order it. Surely it wouldn't live up to expectations. How could it? But I kept going back, day after day, looking at the video, noticing new things each time, laughing, visiting the author's website. Finally, I broke down, crossed my fingers, and ordered the book.

Was it perfect? No. As with most small publishers, I kept wanting to redline the copy and
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
My cousin-in-law is currently trying to get to all 50 states in 50 weeks without a car so I read this in homage to him.

As for the book, it is not going to win any literary awards but I truly enjoyed it and definitely got the urge to just hit the road. However, I don't know if I could do it following the first three rules the author set for himself--no highways, no going back and no speeding. But I would enjoy rule #4--do something interesting in every state.

This book reminded me to occasionall
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked this. He's 23 and he can't decide what to do with his life so he takes a road trip through all 50 states. This book is his collection of adventures in each state.

It's a quick read - few chapters are longer than four pages (on the Kindle app on an iPad, but still... ) He makes some very astute (for a 23-year-old) observations about himself and life on the road.

Some parts are just mildly interesting and others are quite interesting. I got a little anxious, like he was, worrying about how h
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teens-and-adults
I got this free on my kindle. A young man drives attempts to drive through 48 states (not Alaska and Hawaii) in 48 days. In order to do this, he just barely drives over the border of many states. He tries to get a story out of each state.

At times it was very funny and the situations he gets into are humorous. He spends a little too much time talking about his personal life and his cars (especially his cars!). I would have liked to hear more about the states, even if it is just scenery or gas sta
Jen (Feffer)
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually found this book by perusing YouTube (something I never do) on a Friday night. We found a video called "Stereotypes of all 50 states in 2 minutes," and it was actually smart and funny. Upon discovering it was an ad by Jury for his book, I was intrigued.

The book turned out to be just as smart and funny as the video...Jury decides to embark on a 48-continental-states road trip in 48 days. It's at least as nuts as it sounds. But really, it's a true coming-of-age sort of story, without al
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and I'm ready to go on a trip of my own. Okay, I was ready to go on a trip before I read this book, but this book is making it hard to resist.

The book was funny, but he didn't seem to like many places, and of course I'm upset that his impression of Missouri was based on some rural place in Southeast Missouri. That's like rating a restaurant by its dumpster. The only other criticism I have of the book is that I felt the narrative line tying everything together seemed forced a
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The opening of this book was very strong, and throughout it had some very funny antedotes, lines and comments, but I also felt it was, for my taste, a little too introspective. I would have liked to hear more about what happened around him, rather than in him. I realize that the point of his travels was to figure out himself, and by doing so he may not have had a lot of other stranger encounters.

Overall a good book though.
Jeff Gill
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book! I got it as a graduation present for my nephew, but ended up reading the whole thing before I gave it to him. Ended up buying a few copies for other relatives.

Touching and hilarious - Jury does a great job of putting into words sentiments that so many of us have during transitional times in our life, and he does it with humor and vulnerability.

Hilarious, great book!
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh, to be 23 and think a trip to 48 states in 48 days will result in the answers to steer the next direction of your life! Maybe it did this for the author. Some funny moments, but not enough for me to recommend the book highly. Although not the point of his trip, had he spent a bit more time in some places, it may have held more interest- to this reader at least. Hope the author actually found his way as a result of his trip!
Jennifer Morales
Jul 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-books, memoirs
This book definitely inspired me to take a road trip but perhaps not necessarily one where I plan to tackle 48 states in 48 days. Still amazing that the author accomplished that even in 52 days. This book is a handy guidebook of do's and don'ts for a cross country road trip: DO make sure you have AAA as well as a credit card for emergencies and DON'T try to save money by sleeping in your car on the side of any road are just a few of the many lessons in this book.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this on my kindle and had to groan at an obvious error. The map outline of Indiana and Illinois were on the wrong chapters (swapped). Maybe most people don't care, but as a (wonderfully-so-useful) Geography degree it made my eyes roll.

But, I finished this book feeling like I understood this guy. I went through a gypsy-like period after I left college and was underemployed. My difference was that I picked to stay with the girl.

A good quick read.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been mentioned in other reviews that Paul's lack of purpose/musings on his goals was irritating, but I found it painfully familiar. I can empathise with the feeling of being left behind by more competent peers and of being aimless, goals picked merely to have them. Hopefully I won't need such a long (and expensive, to my wallet!) journey to resolve my own worries, but I do take heart that someone in a similar state was able to resolve his!
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book--a painfully honest, hilarious read...a sort of updated and happier Blue Highways. Jury's ramblings through the side byways were brave, as he sets out to see the country and find himself. Highly recommended for those in high school and college.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
oh man, i loved this book. i laughed a lot while reading it, which is always good, and i feel like i'd be friends with this author -- his writing is very personable. i loved how the book was divided into states, and the chapter about the Waffles was so funny, i read it twice :D
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since we are on a cross-country adventure of our own (currently in Denver -- nice city), Courtney astutely recommended that I read this book. I'm in the middle of it. It's cute and I frequently laugh out loud.
Allison Zink-McCormack
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Jury's witticisms and quip-y writing style gently poke the right nerve to make for an insightful, true-to-life account of the dullness and panic that is job-searching and finding direction after college. A hilarious read--perfect for a pick-me-up if you too are in his situation.
Shannon Clark
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Laugh out loud funny in parts. This is a tale of a college graduate trying to find his way in the world by embarking on a 48 state journey in 48 days. Written in a witty enough way to keep my attention.
Claire Gilligan
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Quite fun! Having myself been to 37 of the 48 states he visits, I was expecting to enjoy this book, and I did. Pleasantly written, with just enough of his personal life to keep things engaging (but not enough to be annoying). A few entertaining exploits. Entirely satisfactory, and just plain fun.
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it

I'll round up because I know his parents :) this was an enjoyable read ala Bill Bryson. 3.5
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's a great quick book to read. A roadtrip to end all roadtrips. Plus, my friend wrote it, super excited for him!! Everyone please read it if you have the chance.
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining, a quick read.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
An entertaining book of a young man's search for answers, on many different levels.
Quick read about a 48 state road trip... Something I hope to do at some point in the future. Frequent laugh out loud parts for me, which is always good. :)
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Laugh out loud funny book, really enjoyed it.
Geriann Albers
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Roadtrip stories = good. Probably reflecting my own love of the open road and desire to travel more than I do.
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