Tin Lizard Tales: Reflections from a Train

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1432712549
ISBN-10: 1432712543
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (September 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432712543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432712549
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,531,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and raised in Kern County, California. My wife and I were high school sweethearts, married young, and have spent 60 years making each other happy. Well, at least, I have no complaints. She might have a couple. We have three living children and lost a 24-year old son, Michael, in a motorcycle accident. Our son, Sky, is the oldest and an attorney in Portland, Oregon. The oldest daughter, Cheryl, is a court reporter, also in Portland, and the youngest daughter, Laura, is in real estate in Ventura, California. We have 4 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, 2 great grandsons, and a great granddaughter; all are the joys of our life. After a brief time working in electronics, I joined the Kern County Fire Department and retired after 31 years as Chief Deputy Fire Chief. My wife and I both retired in 1994 and spend our time with hobbies, traveling, and the family. It's a wonderful life. The publishing of my first book, TIN LIZARD TALES: REFLECTIONS FROM A TRAIN, is probably the single most exciting event of my life (except for meeting Carol).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Author Schuyler Wallace is an ex-paramedic and retired fire chief who, with wife Carol, sets out on a 30-day railway transit of the United States and Canada using the North American Rail Pass. Both are in their eighth decade; Schuyler lacks rose-colored glasses and Carol is short on bladder capacity. TIN LIZARD TALES is Wallace's narrative of the journey. The book is written:

"FOR CAROL: Wife, best friend, and fantastic traveling companion."

Any man with such a pal is blessed beyond measure.

The couple's odyssey takes them from their home in Bakersfield (CA) to Sacramento, across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Rockies to Fort Morgan (CO), onwards to Naperville (IL) and Chicago, Erie (PA), New York City, Washington (DC), Niagara Falls, Toronto, back west across Canada through Sudbury and Edmonton to Vancouver (BC), then home via Seattle, Portland and Sacramento. A route map, which would have added a nice visual element, is, sadly, not included.

The primary destinations of interest, based on the amount of dedicated text, were Chicago, New York, Washington, Niagara Falls, and Toronto. The author took voluminous notes along the way, which allowed him to describe their perambulations in those places almost step by step as well as their meals dish by dish. Both Schuyler and Carol like their chow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I was a young girl, I used to ask my mother if we could "go to town and watch the people." I enjoyed wondering about them. Who they were. Where they were going. What they were thinking.

Well, I thought this book might be something like that. But it turns out it's mostly a sort of travelogue. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as they say on Seinfeld. It was more about places and structures than about people.

I noticed too that much of the book was written in the passive tense, which sort of takes the energy from any writing.

I gave the book three stars because I think the author made a fine effort for his first book and it deserves a read. But I would like to see less writing about places and more about people. I'd prefer more crisp writing too.

Having said that, I think it's an interesting read and it's worth buying. You get a feel for the various places and it's a bit of an escape. And in defense of the author, perhaps he intended the book as a travelogue.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
What an interesting, enjoyable and honest read. I stress the honest part, because unlike so many "travel books" I read, here the author has told it like it is, sort of the good, the bad and the ugly kind of thing. Mr. Wallace, a retired Fire Chief and his wife set out on a journey across the United States, from the West Coast to the East, and then back again through Canada, traveling via train. Apparently the author and, I assume his wife, are in their seventies, which is pretty near my age, so I could certainly relate. Anyway, this is the story of their journey and as the title of the book would reflect, the author's reflections.

It is sort of difficult to tag this book and place it in a particular genre. It is indeed a travel log, yet it is also the story of an adventure of two people. It is also a series of mini-historical lessons as the author lets us know a bit about each place they visit or pass through. This must have taken a great amount of hard work and research, and being a trivia fan, I loved ever word of it. It is also a commentary on the state of our country at this time, looking through the eyes of an individual who has obviously seen a lot in his life time. The author also makes some wonderful observations concerning his fellow travelers, the condition of the country side, and the services which were to be had here and there, or the lack of service, as the case may be. Mr. Wallace has an acute sense of humor and it shines through story after story. He is also a wonderful observer and his description of the country side is some of the best descriptive writing I've come across in quite some time.

I liked this book. I like travel books, books that tell me something, give me information and entertain me. I could not ask for more with this offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Davila Hume Dos on June 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tin Lizard Tales: Reflections from a Train
Tin Lizard Tales is a book about a journey. It's not a travelogue, one of those handy pocket guides (a Baedeker) for vacationers, honeymooners or the retired, those seeking travel to wile away their stress and woes, ramp up their libidos or add another bumper sticker to their travelal ("I visited Yosemite" or "I climbed the Eiffel Tower"). No, this book is travel literature, the kind of book that takes you to places that provide theatre for exemplifying moral or aesthetic values. Tin Lizard Tales is more akin to Homer's Odyssey or Dante's Inferno or Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress or Swift's Gulliver's Travels than to Pausanias' Description of Greece or Johnson's A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland or Steve's Europe Through the Back Door.

That is not to say that Tin Lizard Tales won't help ease your way if you're intent on riding the rails to the destinations Mr. Wallace describes, places such as Chicago, Buffalo, New York City and Washington, D.C., both big and slope shouldered cities. It is just that its real value lies elsewhere--it's a tale of virtues, a morality tale of the consequences of good and bad behavior. It recounts a visit to that most adventuresome place, the human zoo in situ, and then, after all that gawking there, it recounts the Odyessean joy of safely returning home to those who truly care about you, to your Penelope.

This is an honest book, the kind of book you would expect from a virtuous, plain speaking man. Mr.
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