After a year working an office job in Sydney, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman Tony Horwitz finds himself longing for the open road. Spurred on by a colleague's "Aren't you a little too old for this game?" he sets off on a 7,000-mile adventure around Australia, hitchhiking to Alice Springs and beyond: through desolate mining towns, sheep stations, countless bush pubs (do not
attempt to match his beer intake), and the forbidding, Martianesque emptinesses of Australian deserts. On the way he encounters hostile, friendly, and downright strange natives; jumps a train; survives a harrowing accident; and uses his relentless sense of humor to face down a cyclone:
I prop my pack against the fence as a windbreak. Huddled behind it, I pull on two pairs of pants, three shirts, four pairs of socks--my entire wardrobe in fact, except for the dung-covered shirt and five pairs of elastic-waisted underwear. No room for dignity here, at the center of a cyclone. I put the jockey shorts over my head, one pair at a time, fitting the fly over my nose to let a little oxygen in.
A wily melange of tenderness, eye-popping lunacy, and occasional white-knuckled fear, One for the Road
will leave you yearning to have the never-ending-blue Oz sky above, the flavor of that red, red dust in your mouth, and a tinnie to wash it all down with. --Jhana Bach
"Ironical, perceptive and subtle ... will have readers getting out their maps and itching to follow Horwitz's tracks.... The internal journey is his finest achievement; he allows the reader into his heart, to go travelling with him there, sharing his adventures of the spirit". -- Sunday Times (London)