May 29, 2011

Review - Look Away Dixieland (James B. Twitchell)

As much as I love to travel, I also love reading about other people's wanderlust. I'm not one to go for the same old travel guides though, so when I had the chance to read James B. Twitchell's Look Away, Dixieland I knew I'd be in for a real treat. And I really was!
Presenting a different kind of journey through the Deep South of the US, what the author calls a historical-quest-travelogue, this is as much a historical guide book as it is an entertaining road trip. Fun to read and also highly informative the reader follows Twitchell along Route 84 to uncover facts about his great-grandfather, a carpetbagger from the North, whose fate is deeply mingled with this region's past. Though this book isn't just about traveling the road, but even more so, it's an introspective journey, furnished with wonderful witty and smart humor.
While the first part of the book is mainly about his great-grandfather's past, it is at the same time a compelling history lesson. The second part is more along the lines of travel experiences on his tour through the small-town South, and unique ones at that. Having been on a bus tour through the region myself many years ago, I certainly didn't get this in depth view of Dixieland. From swamps to quilt-making, from squirrel hunting dogs to Baptist churches, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and even learned a thing or two on the way.
In short: Not your ordinary travel guide!

4/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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