At 57, with heart disease and a bad case of wanderlust, Gary Paulsen decided to get himself the motorcycle of his dreams and take it to Alaska from his home in New Mexico. "The bike held me like a hand, caught me and took me with it so that the engine seemed to be my engine, the wheels my wheels," he writes. "It was singular, visceral, unlike any other motorcycle I had ever ridden. In some way it brought me out of myself, out ahead of myself, into myself, into the core of what I was, what I needed to live. And I knew, my core knew that I would never be the same again, could never be the same."
Paulsen writes in a blaze of macho invective, about men who like drinkin' and butcherin' and guns and "poker with no-limits stakes, or stakes high enough to make you intensely focus on everything there is--and there is everything--in the game." But when he's writing about the spicy characters he's encountered in his wide-ranging travels around America, this short memoir, for all its exaggerated manliness, turns out to be quite funny. --Maria Dolan
From Library Journal
In his previous autobiographical odyssey, Eastern Sun, Winter Moon (LJ 2/15/93), Paulsen looked backward at his life. Here he looks at the present and sees a 57-year-old man with a heart problem and a gnawing discontent. Having had an enduring "love affair with two-wheeled vehicles" and a desire to get a Harley and make a long "run," Paulsen buys his Harley and with a friend takes a run from New Mexico to Alaska. Along the way, he ruminates about playing poker, the Zen of a good motorcycle mechanic, and the Canadian prairie. He copes with changing weather, seagulls flying into the bike, the unpaved portions of the Alaska highway, and motor-home drivers, for whom he has little use. You do not have to be a fan of long runs and Harleys to enjoy this. Recommended for public libraries.?David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W. Va.
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