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Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill Paperback – April 1, 2013
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"In 2006, British journalist Boggan wrote an article about following a single 10-pound note for a week, tracking its movements from hand to hand. This highly entertaining book expands on the theme. Making his way to the U.S., Boggan sent a marked $10 bill on its way, vowing to follow its progress for a full month. His journey—or, rather the bill’s journey—took him from his starting point of Lebanon, Kansas (popularly if inaccurately known as the geographical center of the U.S.) to Detroit, Michigan, a distance of more than 3,000 miles. The rules were simple: he had to be present at every transaction, he couldn’t influence how the 10 bucks was spent, and he couldn’t influence where the bill went (there was a tense moment when a guy said he was going to mail the bill to a place 406 miles away). Like Bill Bryson, whose travel books are as much about the people he meets as they are about the places he visits, Boggan writes entertainingly about the characters he encountered along the way—most of whom were, somewhat surprisingly, pretty cool with his unusual request to follow them around until they spent the money—and about his various misadventures, which included racing down the road in hot pursuit of a First Responders' vehicle on the way to an emergency. A nifty book with an unusual premise and plenty of fun." — David Pitt, starred Booklist Review
'A compelling, inspiring and oddly reassuring portrait of modern America. Fantastic debut.' - Time Out 5-Star Review
'Its randomness is its joy' - The Independent
'A picaresque travelogue about chasing an idea through down-home modern America.' - The Times
'A wonderful premise for a travelogue and Boggan exploits its potential to the full, asking questions about his own life as he charts the rich variety of America's rural and city inhabitants.' - Daily Mail
'Boggan's random and democratic MO means that he gets to hang out with everyone from fire marshals to rock bands in this enjoyable travelogue with a difference, which might appeal to readers of Bill Bryson or Tony Hawks.' - The Herald
‘A fun, multi-faceted travelogue.’ - Kirkus Reviews
‘(Boggan) watched as the money was exchanged in transaction after transaction, and learned a whole lot about the U.S. economy in the process.’ - Marketplace, American Public Media
‘The journey of Boggan’s ten-dollar bill lasts thirty days, covers three thousand miles and reveals an image of America, one that transforms the ordinary and mundane into something that seems almost transcendent.’ - The Digital Journal.
'I can't remember reading a book where the author is continually making fun of himself yet becomes more and more admirable and likeable as the book goes on. He has created a cast of interesting and entertaining characters that are vivid, memorable, and a pleasure to hang out with. The book is an unexpected delight.’ - Luke Rhinehart/George Cockcroft, The Dice Man
'Boggan has constructed a hugely endearing narrative personality...his raconteurship has you chuckling as the author ill-advisedly microwaves his underwear, delightedly discovers a "drive-thru bottle shop", and generally behaves, in refreshing contrast to the exhausting get-up-and-go of the travel genre, with a lovably shambolic lassitude.' - The Guardian
‘A laugh-out-loud triumph’ - The Sun
‘A wonderful premise for a travelogue and Boggan exploits its potential to the full, asking questions about his own life as he charts the rich variety of America’s rural and city inhabitants.’ - Daily Mail ‘Must Read’
‘Charming, often funny and engrossing' - The Australian
‘Thoroughly enjoyable debut, in the vein of Louis Theroux and Jon Ronson, which gives us an intelligent and humorous portrait of an America tourists rarely see’ - The Bookseller
'I absolutely loved this book…a funny, penetrating, warm-hearted journey to the very heart of the one thing that both unites and divides us most profoundly – money.' - Frank Cottrell Boyce (Author, Millions, 24 Hour Party People, Welcome to Sarajevo and author of the script for the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony)
‘A great way to explore and understand the soul of America in the 21st Century. A terrific read’ - Rosie Boycott (Author and literary commentator)
'Steve Boggan's quest to plant a ten dollar bill into the heart of America...is an astute one.' - We Love This Book
'An interesting book from an exciting new publisher' - Conde Nast Traveller
‘Boggan covers six states and a distance of 3000 miles, relating his experiences with a self-deprecating wit’ - Lonely Planet Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
As a charming and witty (not words he uses to describe himself, but you can tell) Englishman, his task is made easier than it would be if, say, I -- an ordinary and not particularly socially adept American -- went up to people and said, "I come with that bill you just got in change." Because he is who he is, the gimmick works -- and Boggan finds himself traveling to all sorts of off-the-interstate locales that tourists normally don't visit, getting close to the people he encounters.
I like that Boggan doesn't attempt to make broad generalizations about the USA as so many other travel writers have done, and he lets the subjects speak for themselves. When a farmer asks him if they can see the Eiffel Tower when he visits Boggan in London, the author interprets this in the gentlest possible way rather than labeling him a rube. Even an aside about the death penalty in America is not preachy; it's clear what Boggan thinks about the subject, but he doesn't use it as an excuse to bash America.
In short, this is an affectionate, frequently funny, self-deprecating, inspiring story about a random trip across the US heartland. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I BOUGHT THIS READ ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF MY COUSIN. I TOLD HIM THAT ANYTHING BY BILL BRYSON IS FAR SUPERIOR.
THIS SHAGGY DOG ACCOUNT LABORED MIGHTILY.. Read more
Steve Boggan is not only a witty and engaging writer but he brilliantly brings to life both his ten dollar mission and his love affair with ordinary Americans. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by MARK DUCKHAM
I loved this book
I read it on holiday and didn't want it to end, I savored every tale.
Steve is a great story teller and really brings America and its characters to life