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The Ghosts Who Travel with Me: A Literary Pilgrimage Through Brautigan's America

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Curious about her enduring love for Richard Brautigan’s work, Allison Green embarks on a roadtrip tracing the route of his most famous work, Trout Fishing in America. As she travels, she examines the way we relate to the things that influence us—the ancestors who created us, the past that shaped us, the writers who changed the way we saw the world—and how these things inte ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Ooligan Press
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Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a long overdue review. I read, and loved, this book almost two years ago. But better late than never.
Everything about this book will delight the avid reader, whether or not that reader loves Richard Brautigan's work. (But this reader does, very much.) The deep relationship that Green has with Trout Fishing in America--the joy of engaging so thoroughly with a book--isn't a sentimental one. She never lets the author off the hook for his misogyny, or glosses over the problems of race in th
Jennifer D. Munro
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had not read Brautigan, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this witty, literary, captivating memoir. Then I went right out and read Trout Fishing in America and loved it, and loved the way the two books informed each other. The Ghosts Who Travel With Me is a road trip, a tip of the literary hat, the journey of a writer and feminist and human being. It's addictive reading--a fun, intelligent read that made me want to visit exotic locales, like Boise.
Lena Baisden-tankut
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Within the first ten pages, describing her tattered copy of Trout Fishing in America and its author, Green addresses her readers and says some of us may think of Brautigan in certain terms and others of us may not know him at all. It’s true. I’m one of the latter. I didn’t know him. Instead, as a teenager, I combed through every collection of Bukowski’s writing I could get my hands on (seventy-seven at last count). When Green examines her affinity for Brautigan through the lens of an adult, a wo ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Ghost Who Travel With Me, like all good books, takes us off the shelf, cracks our spines, and reads aloud our insides better than we can read them ourselves. This is a book about books. Green's style is actively aware of Brautigan's influence (one of my favorite moments is Green remembering the first time she read Trout Fishing in America: "I flipped open Steno Pad #8 and began to write: 'I stopped [reading] 'On Paradise' Page 77, to see if a Big Bird toy could talk'...This was my first atte ...more
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Picked this up in the lovely Darvill's bookstore in the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island. Could not resist the idea of a lesbian-feminist exploring her connection to Brautigan's book, and it was a good read.
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Special dreamers
Recommended to Alan by: Sarah
My own fascination with Richard Brautigan began with two slim paperbacks published in contrasting covers, The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster in yellow and Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt in red, that Van F. and Randy W. smuggled into Mr. Grant's physics class when we were in high school. The 1960s were long gone, and we'd finally exited the 1970s as well, but Brautigan's sparse, elegant poems captured my imagination then and still resonate with me today.
Like a Cat, Out Went Sadness
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although I was largely unfamiliar with the content of this book when I picked it up—specifically Richard Brautigan’s work or his influence in the realm of poetry lovers and readers alike—I found myself instantly captivated by this book. Although all my diving into research couldn’t lead me to conclude that Brautigan is anyone who deserves the reverence Green ascribes him (and indeed probably deserves quite a bit less), I have to give her credit for making me interested in finding out more, seeki ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, feminist
I picked up this book and didn't put it down until I was finished. Within moments, Allison Green had transported me into her memories, her road trip, and her fascination with a book I had never read and an author I had barely heard of. The beautiful stories of her childhood, woven with spectacularly crafted panoramas of a trip through Washington and Idaho, and vivid descriptions of people and places, some personal, some historical, engaged and enthralled me from cover to cover. Green's longing, ...more
Rachel H.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Richard Brautigan is the ghost it's interesting.

Green was born on the cusp of two generations. As the Baby Boomers were ending and the Lost Generation was beginning, Green came into this world wishing she was a little older. She wasn't old enough to be in the thick of the sixties and carries a nostalgia for something she just missed. She stumbled on Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America as a young girl and was mesmerized. Green goes on a soul-searching pilgrimage, retracing Brautigan's journ
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ex-libris-megan
This delightful book is a double-helix of trips down memory-lane. Both involve the author revisiting her childhood, but one is literary and the other geographical. And both are wonderfully told. Green is thoughtful and contemplative in remembering a favorite childhood author: Richard Brautigan. Upon finding the old copy of Trout Fishing in America as an adult, Green reflects upon the issues she has as an adult with the books misogynistic leanings. Through her reflections she concludes that “at t ...more
Terence Brierly
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's interesting how the writings of a complete stranger can empower or have power over us, even if we might disagree or not understand what was even trying to be said. Allison Green's memoir, The Ghosts Who Travel With Me, explores this phenomenon by detailing Green's complex relationship with the famous Richard Brautigan. Green embarks on a pilgrimage of sorts, a gay, feminist writer retracing the steps of another wordsmith, one who portrays women with an uncomfortable apathy that challenges ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Allison Green's journey of self-discovery translates seamlessly onto the written page. As a reader, I felt transported by her words and identified quite deeply with her struggle to reconcile love of a writer with her own identity, which stands in such stark contrast to the writings he composed. A well-written, unique, and powerful memoir, with a strong queer-identified author, The Ghosts Who Travel With Me comes with my highest recommendation. For its representation, its subtleties, its writing ...more
I was born in 1963 as the author. I have never heard of Brautigan. A couple things made me nod. Because of the time period, I could relate to some of what she shared. I suppose I would feel that way about my favorite singer and pay homage. I'd like to visit there places of life and imagine the emotions, etc. Other than that, it was just okay. Funny thing is I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It was very well written, and that I liked.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the woven storyline.
Leigh Thomas
Aug 12, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
In her literary pilgrimage-centered memoir, The Ghosts Who Travel with Me, Allison Green explores the landscapes of Richard Brautigan, the author who impacted her most, as well as her own landscape of ancestry and personal histories. Following the path of Brautigan’s best known novel, Trout Fishing in America, Green and her partner Arline road trip from Washington to Idaho, retracing the steps of Brautigan’s narrator, who travels with a family much like his own, lending the Trout Fishing fiction ...more
Vi La Bianca
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it
The Ghosts Who Travel with Me by Allison Green is reminiscent of that uncomfortable first date we’ve all had with the chronic over-sharer. It comes across as infinitely sad, but we are not sure why. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the deep-seated tragedy to come to light. But there is not one. The gloomy mood hovers on the horizon like the Sawtooth Mountains.

We do not really know Green—that is, the narrator—since we have been introduced to her in the middle of a conversation wit
Allegra Lopez
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
To start off, I must say that "The Ghost Who Travel with Me" is a good ole romp for any young adult. Green effectively captures the feelings of self exploration and self reflection within her relatively short book. While the premise of the book seems simple enough--a road trip through Idaho--one often wonders what exactly the climax of this narrative will be. The thing is, there seems that just like the road she travels on, Green's journey comes off as a flat line. That is not to say it isn't go ...more
Mar 01, 2016 added it
Despite never having read Brautigan, The Ghosts Who Travel With Me by Allison Green feels familiar. I felt completely at home in Green’s narrative as I followed her on her literary pilgrimage through Idaho. The book filled me with comfortable feelings: the love of the road trip, the longing to be born in a different generation, and the creation of reverence for a space only sacred to you, all wonderful sentiments that I too have experienced.

That being said, I would have surely appreciated the bo
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A too-young-to-be-a-baby-boomer, too-old-to-be-a-millennial woman nostalgic for her childhood takes a literary trip to follow Richard Brautigan's path through Idaho while he was writing Trout Fishing in America. Allison Green, a lesbian and self-described hippie who just missed the Flower Power era, finds herself in Idaho, home of the Aryan Nation, with her Panamanian partner, following the paths of an author she was intrigued by as a girl but who never gave the women in his stories much more th ...more
T. J.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Allison Green’s The Ghosts Who Travel With Me: A Literary Pilgrimage Through Brautigan’s America is a beautifully written story that travels further through time than it does through space.

The central narrative follows the author as she and her romantic partner go on a literary pilgrimage from Seattle to Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, which decades ago served as the inspiration for Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America. The narrator felt a strong connection with Brautigan as a thirteen-year
Ryan Brewer
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Ghosts Who Travel With Me is a truly authentic memoir. A memoir that’s not afraid to embrace an ambivalent protagonist, not afraid to remember events out of order, and not afraid to leave questions unanswered. Life is full of ambiguity and imperfections, and Allison Green proves that there is beauty and solace to be had in accepting that. This memoir, in all of its moments of uncertainty, remains fearless.

Green’s literary pilgrimage is evidence that life isn’t always about answers, but exper
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Ghosts Who Travel With Me is a raw and honest memoir. After discovering a strange connection/ re-connection to Richard Brautigan, Allison Green and her partner Arline follow the trail — from Washington to Idaho — that Brautigan narrates in his novel Trout Fishing in America. In a journey of self-discovery, Green uncovers that discovering the self is also defined by by our past, our ancestors, and how moments in time define the characters we become.

Although I'm not familiar with Brautigan's w
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Allison Green is skillful in building naturally beautiful scenes, drawing the reader into her thought processes, and thoughtfully critiquing the works of one of her favorite authors. I loved the scenes where she was introducing her partner Arline to places that were special to her, such as an old pioneer graveyard, as well as the meaningful landmarks from Brautigan's books.

The three-star rating is partially based on my feelings about Brautigan himself, and partially based on the (likely purposef
Margaret Henry
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a child of an avid reader and a baby boomer, I spotted Brautigan’s The Abortion among my mother’s books and wondered about the couple featured on the cover. I never opened the pages to peek inside, as my mother’s books remained my mother’s and I was trying to forge my own literary pathway. It does stand out in my mind though, as something curious, as a relic from my mother’s time. It wasn’t until I happened upon The Ghosts Who Travel With Me that I thought about Brautigan again. And while I’m ...more
Matt Love
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well, I thought the book was going to be about Brautigan. Seems that was just something the publisher bigged up, because he hardly makes an appearance. It gives the impression that she was going to retrace his steps, but she only goes to one place he went and then it's "back to me." a couple of years later she goes to one more, writes a couple of lines about it, and then it was "back to me" again. I just didn't find her interesting enough to make up for the absence of the largely forgotten witty ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
I won this book on Goodreads. I was unsure of where this story would lead me, perhaps if I had read Richard Brautigan I would have enjoyed the journey more. It was very well written as I was sent parasailing through a childhood along with her grandmothers funeral and then college. It is true that no matter where we plan on heading we have a tendency to pull our past along along with us. The story maintains this theory and brings to light many changes people experience going through life.
Chula Brown Buffalo
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I didn't love this book like I wanted to, a comment that talked down to younger generations put me off, and her offhanded brush over racism put a bad taste in my mouth. Although the book did re inspire the Brautigan lover in mea and made me want to jump in the car and hit the open road. For that I am grateful.
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

I hadn't read much Richard Brautigan before, but I still enjoyed reading this.
(and now I intend on reading more Brautigan in the near future.)
Fred Pelzer
Apr 03, 2015 added it
Shelves: memoir, reviews
Review forthcoming in Fourculture
Thomas Ryan
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
OK -- interesting read while cycling in Idaho
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