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on June 23, 2003
This is one of those books that you either love or hate, either it touches you and makes you long for the open road and the adventures beyond the next "twistie" or you throw up your hands in disgust and consider it wasted time.
This is not a novel, on the surface its a simple set of small narrations of what happened during a trip: I took road x, stopped and had x for dinner, slept in motel x, etc. For many people this is all they get from it and its not terribly exciting.
For others, those who have the travelling "bug" this is a thrilling narrative of the romance of the open road. What it feels like to leave work on a friday, all strung out and hit the "twisties" and stop at small places where people call you "hon" and to begin to put your priorities back in order.
Mr. Meyers feelings towards his ride and his enjoyment of the open road, the desire to just start riding, pick roads at random and see where you end up... more importantly his ability to enjoy things that others avoid, like riding in the middle of a storm or right through the middle of a dust-devil..appeal to me, its something that people either understand or look at you funny about. If you understand then this book is for you!
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on March 25, 2003
O.k. I have just received my copy of "Life is a Road" and finished reading it. I figure now is a good time to review this book and what I got from it.
Having known the author for many years and being mentioned in the book a couple of times I may not have a completely unbiased opinion concerning "Life is a Road". Of course, like most people, I don't have many unbiased opinions on many subjects.
The question of why I would read "Life is a Road" is simply answered in my case. I did not want a 300 pound biker, who occasionally smells like an ox, sitting in my living room sticking a book under my nose every 3 minutes saying "Read this, read this!" So it is a matter of simple self defense when looked at in that light. The question of what I got out of reading the book is not so simply answered.
Even though I experienced most of the trips described in "Life is a Road" I still gained insight into the larger world around me by reading the book. Although I was there (in varying states of exuberance - boredom - awe - misery - delight etc...) seeing the events from the authors point of view made me re-evaluate some of the ideas and concepts I developed along the journey. Two people seeing the same thing can have completely opposite reactions. A case in point is the 75 mile dust storm we encountered in far west Texas during the Hell and Gone trip. My reaction to the event was "Well hell, now I have to breath and taste sand for an hour or so." Danny's reaction as expressed in his book is one more of wonder. It did not strike me as a wonder of any kind during that ride, but looking back on it through the descriptions, and through the eyes, of the author made me realize what a wonderful experience it was. Amazing how two people can be so much alike and so totally different.
Like the author I am an avid motorcycle rider. Long distance ridding is a true joy in itself. For me the journey is an opportunity to pit myself against the road and nature, as well as see new things along the way. For the author it is an opportunity to once again experience the vibrancy of life that a soul of true passion craves. We each take something home with us at the end of each journey, in my case photographs and stories. What the author brings home from his journeys is superbly revealed in "Life is a Road". Unlike my photos, which can never truly depict the scope and depth of their subjects, the stories in "Life is a Road" does an amazing job of letting the reader feel and see their subjects.
Even if I had never ridden a motorcycle, reading this book would have given me something new. So, what did I get from reading "Life is a Road"? A whole new outlook on motorcycle journeys - and guide posts on what to look for on the next journey.
The main point the book brings across is one I have known for many years - the journey is the point, not the destination. It is easy to forget that at times and it is nice to be reminded in such an entertaining way.
I would recommend this book to not only motorcycle riders but also anyone who has the urge to journey out into the larger world.
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on January 29, 2004
Life is a road, was, at least, a quick read. The author takes us along for a year or two of his riding experiences, most of which describe the same type of thing the same way as he did in the first set of stories. He is also fond of very short two word sentences that lost me more than once and I found myself re-reading to understand what the heck he was talking about. His constant refrence to his bike as "The Dragon" got wearisome as well as his droning on about being "one with The Dragon" eulogies that felt like they would never end. However, some of his stories are fun and he's a nice guy although many of his tales are not in the least believable, such as the naked girl wandering in the desert, then going for a long ride on the back of the bike story. Yeah Right! A few of the chapters are written with a lot of humor, which is where he excels and should do more of. And at the very least, if you are motorcycle obsessed, it is centered around motorcycles. Or if you are intimidated by hitting the open road, then at least you can live vicariously through these pages.
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on June 17, 2004
I agree with another reveiwer that a possible redeeming quality of this book is that it is a quick read. I think I came close to skimming the last half of the book. The author seems more intent on repeating his weight, height, eating habits, and the fact that he is a Texan than on relating anything very meaningful or engaging. Self indulgence doesn't equal insightful reflection, nor do the frequent cryptic phrases add anything but confusion. And the attempts at philosophy are sophomoric.
Having said that, I was able to finish the book because I too have logged several thousand miles astride a variety of bikes, most recently on a Honda Valkyrie, "The Dragon". Meyer would also have us believe "The Dragon" is his nickname for the bike, but a visit to the Valkyrieriders website can clarify some history. Sorry, big guy, the book didn't work for me.
Do yourself a favor: pass this one up and read DETOURS by Richard La Plante.
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on April 29, 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mr. Meyer does a wonderful job of painting the imagery of a scene. He also has a great sense of humor. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read just for pure enjoyment.
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on May 14, 2003
Poorly written, silly and self indulgent and frankly, bordering on unbelievable ( mysterious naked women ) I found nothing about "soul" in this book and precious little about life.
Pass on this one
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on February 5, 2004
This is a light, fast paced, and highly enjoyable set of stories about one man's experiences on the road. It should strike a chord with anyone who rides, and inspire anyone who's always wanted to.
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