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Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill Paperback – April 1, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* 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 changed from pounds to dollars and 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. 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

Review

"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...A nifty book with an unusual premise and plenty of fun." - David Pitt, Booklist


 " ...ordinary Americans, so-called, bring Mr. Boggan's book to life—aided by the author's sharp eye and generous spirit." - Wall Street Journal


"It would be easy enough to say that Boggan just got lucky, that his $10 bill was touched by a certain magic that led him to good places and away from bad ones. Perhaps so. But at a moment in our history when so many Americans are troubled by what they see as anger and hostility among their fellow citizens, it is rather nice to be given a bit of evidence that this may not be entirely true." - The Washington Post

"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



"An engaging, positive portrait of the American Midwest as seen through the eyes of an Englishman, this will particularly appeal to fans of Bill Bryson." — Library Journal


‘..ordinary Americans, so-called, bring Mr. Boggan’s book to life  - aided by the author's sharp eye and generous spirit… His account makes for engaging reading.’ - Wall Street Journal

'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’
'The strength of Boggan's writing is the clear, clean and non-judgemental prose style that lets the remarkable and disparate lives of those he encounters speak for themselves. Heart-warming, fascinating stuff.' - The Big Issue

‘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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; Reprint edition (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908526211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908526212
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading Follow The Money (twice!) I'm ready to take the same trip as him and meet the people he encountered on his journey! Steve has a way of painting the scenes before him so vividly and describing the people he meets with humor and affection. I found myself laughing out loud several times and thinking about the story long after I had put the book down for the day. Steve's endearing descriptions of the people that received the bill made me want to retrace his steps and have MY OWN conversations, meals, drinks, tears and laughs with them! He shares many of his jaded feelings quite candidly as well as exposes some of his fear and vulnerability during the journey. A very fun read full of American history, culture & nostalgia mixed in with the authors take on all of it and the people surrounding it.
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This is a very fun and easy read, based on a simple but outrageous premise: a visitor from Britain will follow a $10 bill around the US for a month, going wherever the bill goes when it changes hands. The details of how he does this aren't worth getting into here, but it does make more sense when you read his "ground rules" than it might sound at first description. (Hint: He doesn't need to literally get in the same car with whomever gets the bill as change.)

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.
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely a must read! I could not put it down; read it from start to finish in one sitting! Not only is Steve a great writer, He also has quite an amusing style. If you think about his British accent while reading his narration you will find yourself laughing out loud over and over !!! The book is really packed with what I would call Americana. He goes into great and interesting detail about the historical details surrounding the places He visits as He follows the 10. Being a great fan of Dean Agus of Crash Meadows and Syd Rodway of the Erin Bode Group made the story line quite exciting and personal as Steve encountered them on his way thru the St. Louis area! I highly recommend this book to all!!!
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By Bill on September 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a great novel, but a good read. Boggan did a good job of weaving in the life stories of the people he encountered and descriptions of the places he went. It was apparent he had an interest in people and that they enjoyed helping him with his task. As a Brit, he went to places that were not on the regular tourist map and saw a side of Americana that is not usually seen by your superficial tourist. The $10 bill was almost superfluous, because the story was about the journey, not the destination/goal.
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An Englishman has the idea of putting a $10 bill in circulation in the USA and following it for a month. Enjoyable true tale.
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