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I Chose the Rails Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Brad Fuller (July 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985881305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985881306
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The curls in my neckbeard are quivering in delight at having been a part of this masturbatory and circular story.
Pruti Pat
The major themes of the book are sometimes interrupted by preaching on random topics that either don't make sense, or offer little to the story.
Meat
The author does a great job of describing all of the things that happened to him, and the story flows in a straightforward fashion.
Darius Fombosa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kelli Shaver on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The editing is non-existent, the writing is very informal and poor in places, and the author's political and social views get a little preachy (even if I do mostly agree with them) but despite these things, it is consistently an entertaining story that's worth the $5 and the few hours it takes to read it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Reader on July 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
... but it does have a genuine, enticing quality to it. It is true that the anti-establishmentarian, anti-political preaching starts to reek of arrogance after more than a few sentences, and it's equally true that the copy-editing is virtually nonexistent. My Kindle copy has the first page and a half of the Milwaukee chapter inexplicably repeated - and that's only barely the worst example. *I* could write better, and I know I'm hardly a good writer.

But I wouldn't dismiss this book as just a /r/IAmA circle-jerk, as other reviewers have. Even through the bad writing and narcissistic tone, there are truly gems of storytelling - the debate with the diplomat about Wikileaks, being held up with a knife at night in the St. Louis railway station, being invited to share a bit too much tequila by an oversexed middle-aged mother. This is someone who had a seriously unique physical and intellectual journey, one which a regrettably small number of people let themselves take. And although he is rather ham-fisted in praising the merits of such an experience, it comes across as truly heart-felt - and that's enough to overcome the book's glaring shortcomings.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Rogers on July 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Brad Barrington's I Chose the Rails is a great read. I generally like books that introduce me to new places, new people and new experiences. Railway travels fulfill those fascinations in a peculiar way. Brad's descriptions and his experiences sound fascinating enough to make me try the ride for myself. I had the Baikal-Amur-Mainline, and the Trans-Siberian railways in mind after reading about them in The Union Moujik . However, I am adding this to my to-do list. And the Qinghai-Tibet Railway too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan on July 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
People often dream of quitting their jobs and finding them selves. This is a story of a person who found the courage to actually do it. The adventure the author goes on in this book encompasses the ideals of self confidence, love, prophesy, and ultimately the choices we make about our future wether we win or lose. It's a "There and back again" for the common man. A testament that if you just put yourself out there the world can be a bold and amazing place.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meat on August 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, the good stuff. There is a compelling story to be told here. Who hasn't thought of quitting the daily grind and beginning the search for something to truly give their life meaning, to make them happy? Whether you are looking for a way to vicariously live this dream, or you are looking for the inspiration you need to start your own adventure, this is a good book to turn to.
However, no matter how good the story, you need a talented storyteller to bring it to life. I would say the author has the potential to be a great storyteller. In fact, I think that this is an amazing first draft, but an editor (or anyone, really) should have been brought in to point out some weak points.

The first major flaw in the storytelling is that the author treats the reader like an idiot, leaving "nothing to the imagination". Once example of this can be seen in the way the character Frank was described in the book. The reader learns that he is traveling the US by rails, yet seems apathetic to the trip when compared to the author's experience. Instead of letting the reader make the connection themselves, the author just tells you, "Duh! This is me in 30 years if I had not quit my job". There are many examples like this throughout the book that can ruin the experience for the reader. It would be like a comedian explaining every joke after they tell it.

There is also the issue of the author becoming a preacher at times. The major themes of the book are sometimes interrupted by preaching on random topics that either don't make sense, or offer little to the story. Take, for example, the New Orleans chapter. Several pages are wasted on the author "keeping to his word" and wondering "is it worth it" to have sex with some beautiful girl.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book. This is not the usual genre I'd read, but I gave it a chance and was glad I did. I found it interesting and thought the idea of traveling by train fun. It's different, but also compelling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wally on July 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book may not have been the best of its genre or the most perfectly written but it was fun to read. and it is what it is, one person's journey through america.
i'd recommend it to anyone and everyone with an open mind about these sorts of things.
i only wish i could have gotten the hardcover instead of just the e-book but of well :/
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By Hands0l0 on February 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SUCH CLASS WHAT AN ADVENTURE I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE STORYTELLING. READ IT TO YOUR KIDS! THEY'LL THANK YOU LATER so long as you don't turn into a s***ty parent.
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