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Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America
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Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  331 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In 1974 a disenfranchised young man from a broken home set out to do the impossible. With a hundred dollars in his pocket, a beat up cavalry saddle, and a faraway look in his eye, John Egenes saddled his horse Gizmo and started down the trail on an adventure across the North American continent. Their seven month journey took them across 11 states from California to Virgini ...more
Kindle Edition, 291 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Delta Vee
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John It can also refer to one who is stripped of his personal power, unable to engage in certain cultural norms. Poverty is one instance. Race is another.…moreIt can also refer to one who is stripped of his personal power, unable to engage in certain cultural norms. Poverty is one instance. Race is another. Though both might have the right to vote, they might also, in the real world, be powerless to change their own circumstances. But yes, yours is a fair question. Thanks. (less)

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Warren Walter
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very nice book. As someone that works with K-12 students, I am always looking to find books that will interest young adult male readers and this is one that I will recommend going forward. In an age of constant connectedness and devices, this book does a great job of helping readers envision a time when the world was simpler and what it would be like to exist for long periods of time without human contact. The bond between the main character and his horse, Gizmo, is well written and helps the re ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best book I read in 2017. John Egenes rode his horse across America, West to East, in 1974. He was nearly struck by lightning in the desert, hit by cars in the Smoky Mountains, locked up by a Boss Hogg-style hillbilly country politician, courted by maidens, and feted by a celebrity. While those things happen to him, the real story is his relationship with his horse, Gizmo. I am not a horse person, but I cried for the love John had for his horse, and the way they learned each other and ...more
Lindsey Shields
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read! I love stories of long journeys, and this one works for me. It's a tale of adventure and a kind of coming of age that could maybe only happen in 1974 - and perhaps only be written now. The world has moved on and we have changed. The author looks back on this rich journey across his native America with the perspective of time, exploring his early life, from learning to be alone to the growing impetus to to take on such a momentous ride and beyond. As he relates his tale, with anecdot ...more
Neil Copeland
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife Sandra gave me this book as a wedding anniversary present, in the paperback version, autographed, with a personal message from John. For me, it hasn't just been an absorbing account of an impressive and epic journey, but an insight into the mind of a personal friend, one I've respected for as long as I've known him as a very fine musician, an astute and often counter-intuitive thinker, and an all-round good guy, with a sense of humour that is sharp and insightful, but at the same time ge ...more
P Bernhardt
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 1974, John Egenes and his horse quarter-horse Gizmo set off from Ventura, California, for Virginia Beach, Virginia. Like the title says, this is his story of their trip. Yet, it's much more than that. It's his life story of how he got to that point. As a small child whose father deserted them, he was led or forced to the path of independence by his mother. She drifted through life looking for its meaning dragging her four children with her. He talks about the beginnings of his wandering by hi ...more
Jennifer Macaire
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I started the book - but I was soon caught up in the story. Having grown up in the 60's, the story of travelling across the US in the 70's brought back many memories. The prose is clear, the story entertaining, and I fell in love with Gizmo (sorry, John, lol) right away. This is a fascinating tale about a man's voyage across the country, but it's also a story of growing up a loner and trying to fit into a fast-changing world. Full of interesting charact ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting book.

John had very good description of their journey. He made the Painted Dessert and other areas come to life! Even someone who isn't familiar with the trappings of a horse should be able to follow his description of how they go on the horse. I cried, laughed out loud and felt bad with John for certain happenings. I hated to have the book come to an end, although I was happy for John and Gizmo when the trip was over. He described the love and respect between man and horse. On
Tom Schulte
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an affecting, sage, evocative memoir of the author riding Gizmo the quarter horse from California to the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia in 1974. Along abandoned stretches of Route 66, empty land, fenced in grazing lands, pipelines and more he witnesses a country changing post-'60s and moving uneasily into a future just as he travels surely to and through the densely populated east. I really did not want to get to the end of the small vignettes or recollections and musings - easy to read wisd ...more
Neil Evans
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you liked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you’ll love this book. It’s Sen and the Art of Cross-country Horse Riding. John Egenes and his horse Gizmo take a four thousand mile, seven month trip from California to Virginia: ocean to ocean. It reminded me of the 1990s adventure: Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback, by Robyn Davidson. Both were about a rider, whether on horse or camel, making a cross county journey that becomes an inner journey of self d ...more
Becky Prunty
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was not just the story of an epic journey on horseback. I felt John was poet and philosopher as well as a friend and kindred spirit. I had known of the Jeff Spivey trek and followed his progress and as a young and fanciful free spirit of the 70s I envied that partnership also. I believe the writing was improved by the many years that followed this amazing adventure. I truly loved every line of this exceptionally well written story. The beautiful sepia photographs helped bring the story ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well-written account of cross country ride from California to Virginia that took 7 months. What makes it so engaging is the author is telling the story in in his 60s from logbooks he kept during his journey in his 20s. Loved his observations of how technology and paranoia have changed us from then until now. A unique read from a unique individual. Loved spending the days with John and Gizmo. Recommended.
beth sommer
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Life is a journey

Great story. Loved the friendship between horse and rider. I have been lucky enough to have two lovely horses in my life, one who was a lot like Gizmo and also a quarter horse. I loved the journey, and the exploration of being alone and his focus on the care and trust he felt for his companion. Both of my horses are gone now and the ending made me remember my lovely horses. Thank you for this book.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible journey!

This is a rare look into one mans story, his dream, filled with hope, persistence , love and devotion.I purposely took my time reading and rereading page after page. I did not want the story to end! My " dream" would be for mankind to treat one another and all creatures as Mr. Egenes treated Gizmo. A beautiful, touching experience. I will read it again and again.
Rob Edwards
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding story on travels with Gizmo and perspectives on life, your adventure in 1974 touched my heart and reminded me of a special relationship I experienced for ten years with Skadi a Great Pyrennes

I was fortunate to call my best friend. Traveling by bicycle throughout North America was my introduction to positive thinkers and rural America, Canada and Mexico.
Have your best day ever!
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well worth the time

A lot of fine observations about the land and people so many years ago. There is a lot to take in about this journey across America from Pacific to the Atlantic. But the triumph of getting to the destination is overshadowed by the journey. Has humor and philosophical thoughts to ponder. What a great horse Gizmo is and it was a pleasure meeting him and the author.

julie morse
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An adventure for sure

When I got this book I was intrigued by how this man on a horse would fair with weather change, other wild animals and people. I was surprised that people gave them the most grief. I read Walk Across America book 1 and this was book was no disappointment.
Barbara Johansen
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Philosophy at its elegant peak

Wonderful Musings over fifty years of life. I am inspired to write my own story. If only I had the skill to put my own words into such insights. Simplicity and honesty is John's key to life.

Jerome Jamroz
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. Great story told well! An adventure that will

touch your heart as well as your as keep your interest ! His quest did not over ride his concern for the well being of his horse .
Lane Casteix
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Interesting story

Can’t imaging starting out to do what the author did. His relationship with Gizmo, his horse, was heartwarming. The adventures they encountered were varied and fascinating. If you like horses and tales if adventure, you will like this book.
Megan Q.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horses
When I was younger, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about riding cross-country like this. This book was written decades after the trip... I'd have loved more detail about the trip itself, but by the time the book was written, most of the specifics had probably faded.
Tammy  Roberson
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable

Not my usual type of book,but I did not want to put this one done till I was finished. I have several horse people that I can't wait to share this book with.
Danny Harmon
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Well worth reading

Well written. Keeps the reader engaged. Interesting places visited in our country. Very descriptive. Takes me back to the 1970's.
Virginia M Ranger
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good

This was an informative book. It takes you along with the author on his ride across country. It describes a way of life that cannot be revisited.
Christine Meunier
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, horse
Review to follow!
Lynn Porter
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Though the author has expressed his inner emotional satisfaction at the completion of his dream, has his curious it y been satisfied 😌?
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
fabulous surprise- this book reveals a side of the US in the 70's that many have probably forgotten existed. part travel book, part coming of age reflection, lots of man and horse tale. I loved it!
Nola Vorbrich
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very Good

I enjoyed this book very much. It kept my attention and shed light on what it was likyin 1974 in the USA. I enjoyed his descriptions of his relationship with his horse.
Mari LivTollefsonCarlson
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
If the journey, not the destination, is the point, as it is for John Egenes, then I won’t spoil much by telling you that riding Gizmo, his horse, into the Atlantic at the end of their cross country trip is anti-climactic. John had already imagined it even before he started out; what matters is the dream fulfilled. In 1974, Egenes set out from Southern California to Virginia Beach by horse. He had a little over $100, a general route, a lot of curiosity and perseverance to follow it. He gets away ...more
John Veon
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing

If this doesn't move you, you're dead. Has instantly become one of my favorites. I wish I could have met Gizmo...
Marisa Salo
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic what an adventure undertaken in the 1970. I felt like I traveled back in time. It was a fantastic read. Wish there was a follow up on life after the adventure.
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John Egenes has been a musician, a saddlemaker, a dog catcher, and a hobo, among other things. He only learns by making mistakes and he views his life through a windshield full of squashed bugs. He makes his home in New Zealand.

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