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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I've never made it beyond the 'Hmm, interesting idea' stage regarding RV travel across the country with my husband. Fortunately for me, now I don't have to. Doreen Orion has lived through the ups and downs for me, and recorded them in all kinds of agonizing and hilarious detail. Queen of the Road is about more than just wacky hijinks: the dogs, the nudists, the cocktail recipes. Reading it is a window onto a marriage -- a very honest and illuminating portrayal of the way a marriage works in extreme circumstances. More than just 'we grew, we changed,' it's a road map to a certain kind of communication, a certain kind of togetherness, that was very interesting to witness. Chatty, honest, anecdotal, and real, this book asks nothing of you but your time, and in return delivers a read that feels like a funny friend with all the time in the world to share her exploits with you over martinis. Not your traditional travelogue, but something more accessible and less pretentious than the usual fare.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2008
Doreen Orion, in her book - Queen of the Road has captured the wild adventure of living on a bus and wrapped it up in page after page of laughs. She uses her flaws and foibles openly to draw in the reader, making it seem as though we are right there with her. Bus Butt and all. As the story unfolds, she shifts from self proclaimed Princess and shoe worshipper to someone who appreciates a night sky and no-TV dinners, reminding us that there is more to life than this crazy game we live in.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 16, 2008
I found this book hysterical. I love Doreen. This chick can tell a story. I love her attitude, the fact that she makes no apologies for who she is, her wit and her relationship with her husband.

Anyone whose nickname for their husband is "Project Nerd" while wearing her Manolo's and eating bonbons, while sipping a martini has to be a character. I would love her as a friend.

Doreen and Tim's relationship is based on mutual respect for each other and accepting and loving each other for the differences as much as their similarities which as far as I can tell is just their profession (the are both psychiatrists).

Her recount of the bus door flying open while Tim was driving made me laugh out loud.

Each chapter begins with a martini recipe and instructions, such as the:

Love Me Bender
2 parts passion fruit liqueur
2 parts champagne
1 part raspberry liqueur

Rest shaker on hip, gyrate, drink. If you can still recall that the love of your life is making
you live on a bus, repeat.

I love her description of Mardi Gras. She writes: Why would I want to scream and beg funny looking people to throw me some gaudy plastic doodads that wouldn't (Thank God) go with a single outfit I own?

And how she goes on to write how cows become steak, deer becomes venison and pigs turn into pork but chicken, rabbit and turkey stay the same. Funny, never thought about it but now I do.

I love how she also goes to her first open coffin wake and compares the body to waxed fruit. This chick is Fun-knee!!

Honestly, there are too many good things to point out in this book. Doreen is a great storyteller I mean really who else could take the story of 2 people traveling cross-country by bus and make it entertaining?

Check out her website for more information on the book, her podcasts, interviews, merchandise and more.

I highly recommend this book and will be passing it to a friend to enjoy.

This is a great stocking stuffer for any reader in your life.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2008
A bus trip where you live on a converted bus through 47 states? Oh no! I am a hotel gal, a cookie on the pillow gal 'ain't messin' with no tiny mint', a have someone clean up after me gal. So, when I started to read Doreen Orion's Queen of the Road I thought that I would have a laugh at her expense. I indeed did, many times, but then what I discovered shocked me. I started to envy her and Tim's excellent adventures. As well as her Queentastic way of celebrating near death experiences with creatively concocted martinis. Her telling, in her uniquely humorous way, of her self-diagnosed bus phobia had me nervously watching the road with her. Would they make it across those bridges? Would the turns be too tight? Would they be able to turn the bus back if need be? Was Tim driving too fast?! Tim, slow down!! Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Tim kept driving while Doreen kept us informed of what they saw, who they met, and how she came to terms with the year she could have never imagined. If you love the idea of the open road and wonder what it would be like to live in a converted bus 'with pets no less', then this is the book for you. If you are like me and start feeling faint at the idea of no hotel service, then this is also the book for you. You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll be thankful Doreen was riding shotgun and survived her bus phobia to tell us all about it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2008
Psychiatrist Doreen Orion and husband Tim (also a psychiatrist) take off on an adventure most of us can only dream of as they travel the country for a year in a luxuriously converted bus. A self-proclaimed "Princess from the Isle of Long", Orion struggles with the radical change of lifestyle she's committed to out of love for her husband. Despite bus mishaps and an unfortunately timed and ironic phobia of the bus crashing, she manages to keep her sense of humor, her love for her husband and her sanity. As much of a surprise to her as it is to the reader, Ms. Orion comes away with some real insights into who she has been in the world and who she now wants to become. Hilarious anecdotes of the people she meets along the way avoid the overly folksy mannerisms of some "on the road" memoirs. With her sharp, incisive, and occasionally cynical wit, Orion always gives the reader something to laugh about while clearly enjoying everyone (well mostly everyone) she meets along the way. The changes in her worldview, while not earth shattering, feel genuine and inspiring. A great read for anyone who wants to get out and "do" something meaningful outside of cultural definitions, and with a lot of laughs along the way. And the cocktail recipes that start each chapter are not only whimsical and fun, but are also cool and delicious!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2009
When Doreen Orion wrote, on yoga, "What was the point of putting that much effort into doing something, just to think about nothing, when I was already so adept at thinking about nothing without making any effort at all?", I knew she was my kind of person. (I've tried yoga. I like the stretching. I don't like the premise. Like Doreen, the only way I can handle exercise is if I've got lots of things to distract me while I'm doing it.)

"Queen of the Road" is a book about a married couple who takes a year to travel the country in a retro-converted bus, with a dog and two cats. So it's a travel diary, in a way. But it felt more like a nice long talk with an old friend, the kind you don't get to see very often but is actually one of your favorite people in the world.

This "true tale of 47 states" was, there is no other word for it, a delight to read. From the first page to the last, Doreen's self-deprecating wit and humor, her honesty, and her dry sense of the absurd formed, for me, an instant bond between author and reader. I laughed out loud, not once, not a few times, but at least once a chapter, at something she'd said -- and not because the book is so outrageously funny, but because, as with the yoga quote above, I knew *exactly* what she meant and felt *exactly* the same way. And while some of that may be because we have a few preferences in common, I think it's mostly because Doreen is so honest, and says, in this book, exactly what she was thinking -- and what so many of us would as well in the same situation.

The writing is excellent and engaging, and the book was, unfortunately, a quick read; I was sorry when it was over, though the story comes to a natural end when Doreen and Tim's journey is over. The author's web site,[..], has videos from her travels and her blog, which is well worth checking out.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2009
Five star average rating? Really??? I am clearly missing the gene required to find this book charming. The trouble is that Ms. Orion is not a good writer. She is also not nearly as funny as she thinks she is, or has been told she is. The narrative is disjointed; she brings in stories from before the RV odyssey that supposedly show how wacky she is, but they seem forced and irrelevant. There are a few passages where she writes sincerely and those are enjoyable, but for most of the book she is trying way too hard to be funny, and instead falls flat. The moral (who needs things; enjoy what you have) is pretty cliche. If I hadn't been reading this for a book group I would not have bothered to finish this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2009
When I saw the title of this book. I HAD to read it! I had just had done my own road trip over the past summer for 3 weeks with my dog and left my husband at home and I could relate to begin on the road, the pre trip anxiety attack and the anxiety on the road. Then, realizing "what the hell am I doing this for!?"
We both shared a love for shoes & shopping.I only brought 2 pairs of shoes for my road trip.
This book is very much recommended for anyone who has been contemplating on going on a road trip or has had the adventure of a road trip it is a MUST READ. It is also laugh at loud funny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
After the virtually joyless trip I just took with Troost in Lost on Planet China (not Troost's fault...China is just not a pretty world these days), I was happy to climb aboard with Doreen Orion in Queen of the Road and travel around the (relatively) clean U.S. of A.

Orion's husband convinces her to buy an enormous bus, convert it to a travel-mobile, and set out on a yearlong adventure across America. Orion is a fun traveling companion and seems to find every quirky spot and person in the country. A great summer read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A rollicking memoir, QUEEN OF THE ROAD reads like letters from a (very funny) traveling friend who points out every memorable experience, restaurant, and view along the way -- as well as the misdirected detours no one should have to endure. But QUEEN OF THE ROAD is also a tribute to the wonders of adventures outside one's comfort zone, to the loved ones who enrich our lives, to our own strength and fortitude despite so many frazzling phobias. Plus, it's a riotous ride. Enjoy!
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