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Al Macy's story begins millions of years ago in a cave in Eastern Siberia. Wait. What? I don't have space for that much detail?
Now you tell me! So much for the story about the saber-toothed tiger that was a little too friendly.
When Macy was a kid, he could never decide what he wanted to be when he grew up. OK, let me interrupt a second. I'll let you in on a secret about author biographies: Most of them are written by the authors themselves. They just use the third person to make it sound like they have some kind of highfalutin public relations team. Unless they are, like, Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway, in which case they actually do have a public relations team. That's especially true for Hemingway, since he's dead.
So, just to let you know, while reading this bio, that when it reads "Al Macy did this" and "Macy did that," [whispering...] it's really just me saying that I did this or that. OK?
Where was I? Oh, yeah, Al Macy (wink, wink) couldn't decide what to do with his life. He was pretty good at music, but he was better at science and math, so he started studying engineering at Cornell. But then he changed his mind, and finished his degree in physiological psychology. After a PhD in neuroscience at University of Michigan, and a post-doc at UC Berkeley, he changed his mind again, and started writing educational computer games for a living.
OK, this is getting boring for me now -- I mean for Al Macy now. I'll skip ahead, and tell you that Macy retired in his early fifties, and switched back to having music as his main hobby. He played jazz trombone and jazz piano in local venues, and, as he puts it, "Worked hard to get bettter before anyone noticed how bad I was."
And that's all you need know all about Al Macy! Isn't he a great guy? Now, about that saber-toothed tiger...
I wanted to like this book as I enjoy travel, camping, bike riding, and a bit of philosophy of the side, but this book was a huge disappointment, and after half way I just started skimming it. Travel books need to develop dialogue, characters, events and tension just like any other book. (Bill Bryson is an expert at doing it, bringing humour, pathos and interest to even the most mundane situations). Here the author relates his potentially interesting travels in a dead monotone, thereby depriving the scenery of any life. He skilfully avoids all dialogue and fails to develop any interaction with interesting characters along the journey. As a result this is a dull record of some incidental trip that means nothing to anyone other than maybe himself, his own family and possibly a few indulgent friends. Don't waste your money
We took our first long driving holiday last December/January (I was traumatized by family driving holidays as a child) and, even though we live in Australia, our trip was up & down the California coast and across to Vegas & back. We all agree that was actually the highlight of our seven weeks in the US - even though we have three children and we visited Disney World afterwards.
We were interested to see what your experience was like doing this extended road trip as we'd love to do another driving trip across the US. I'm not sure if your journal has inspired me to do that or sent me back to my traumatic childhood filled with driving holidays!
However, as the last time a rode a bike it had training wheels, and the last time I went camping I was young enough to think it was actually fun, I think we'll do its but skip certain elements of your trip. I'm an 'actual bed' sort of person - in face, if there's an 'actual lounge' and an 'actual tv', I'm right at home - so I won't spoil the great outdoors & peaceful campsites by being one of 'those' RV people, and will stick to the Bates' motels along the way.
Thank you for sharing part of your life - you have a very easy to read, yet interesting style of writing which lazy, yet easily bored, readers like myself appreciate. In the nicest possible way, I wish that you would go away - so that you can write and share another journal with those of us who have lived un-frugally enough to still be slogging it out in actual employment between such breaks!
After having read all of Macy's fiction I decided to read this one. I read mostly fiction, about 99% or so. Once in a while I find an author whose writing I enjoy and I'll try their "non" fiction. This led me to read this book. For a book that has no action, no drama, no space ships or magic this is very good.
This is an awesome book! I’ve read one other of Al’s books besides this one and will be checking out more! Very fun book to read! I’m not a camper, backpacker or cyclist and really enjoyed it! I’ll be recommending it to various people in my life! Keep up the good work!