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The Hitchhiking Crash Course: How to Travel the World and Meet Cool People Paperback – April 2, 2013
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About the Author
Matt Forney was born in 1988 in Rome, New York and grew up in nearby Syracuse. A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, he later attended SUNY Plattsburgh and the University at Albany, majoring in English and journalism. A former retail wage slave, bureaucrat and ditch-digger, Matt began writing under his real name in 2012 to chronicle a hitchhiking trip he took from Syracuse to Portland, Oregon.
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Top customer reviews
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The book is useful for potential hitchhikers becasue of things like the recommended items to bring and information on how to go about hitchhiking.
Like anything else, there is a learning curve to being successful. This book's recommendations on how to look, act, and where the best places to be to get a ride, or a shower would no doubt shorten the learning curve for someone following in his footsteps.
I read the book hoping to read a bit about the country and Matt's experiences along. But this book is a practical guide to hitchhiking, not a collection of the interesting things that he did.
This book is recommended for practical advice on hitchhiking, but not for entertainment purposes.
The text itself is written stream-of-consciousness style. While it may be difficult to follow, it is not intended to be a Kerouacesque narrative. It functions well in its intended purpose, as a technical manual for modern hitch hiking.
I enjoyed this book largely because it illuminated an aspect of society that I previously knew nothing about. The author rubbed shoulders with the men who move goods from point to point: the architects and engineers of the invisible infrastructure which props up our consumer society. He tells you how to get on with them, and in the subtext, he provides glimpses of the humanity that still exists beneath the social surface.
Even the title is completely misleading. There is no Traveling The World and you don't Meet any Cool People but it certainly is a Crash Course, unfortunately not in the way the author intends. It's a crash course in how to cut and paste a book together, a cheap attempt to make a few dollars targeting the minuscule "hardcore hitchhiker" demographic totaling about ten people in a nation of 330,000,000. There's literally nothing in this so called "guide" that common sense doesn't already dictate. The author seems to believe anyone brave enough to stand on the side of the road with their thumb out looking for a ride across the country is too stupid to think of packing for their trip, bringing their wallet, or taking a cell phone with them.
Basically this book is just one self explanatory list after another that any ten year old kid could come up with. It's written in an extremely obnoxious and condescending fashion while the author explains why you need money, food, and clothes, how to make a hitchhiking sign, and where to stand (oh jeez, you mean if I'm hitchhiking I should stand by the side of the road? Wow, brilliant, that's worth $6.99 right there!). Did you know you'll need a backpack to carry your stuff? Or that hitchhiking is potentially dangerous?
Like I said, this "guide" is page after page of pure filler. The author even tells you how to choose and pack a backpack, material clearly lifted from any camping guide published in the last seventy-five years, but hey, it's not plagiarism when you change a few words around. As you read through all the fluff and filler it's clear how hard the author is trying to sound like an authority and how very seriously he takes himself. It comes off like some overbearing, insufferable blowhard prattling on and on and about how cool he is and how stupid you are.
I would advise you to throw your money out the nearest window before actually paying for this ebook. There is literally nothing in it you can't easily Google yourself for free. If you do feel the need to waste a few dollars on this unentertaining drivel then be prepared for a tedious reading experience full of typos, grammar errors, and scatterbrained logic.
At the end of the "guide" the author warns that he's actually working on a book about his death defying cross country hitchhiking extravaganza and that's when you realize this ebook is nothing more than a cheap excuse to make a few extra pennies. Why write one book and sell it when you can write two books and sell them both? The constant sales pitch is extremely transparent and the mindless self promotion renders it useless, condescending, and childish from start to finish.
Consider yourself warned, there is absolutely nothing in this book you haven't thought of already on an unoriginal topic that's been done many times before.
And if you check other books he have published, it seems that he is spreading his "knowledge" on wide variety on topics, including, I quote "Picking up fat chicks" and earning money online. I can just guess that his book on earning money online includes a chapter on publishing bogus books on the subjects you are completely unfamiliar with. :)