Crossing California: A Cultural Topography of a Land of Wonder and Weirdness

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For a reviewer, Crossing California is a tough one. Journalist/columnist Sam McManis’s writing is so good that most readers will agree—this book is hard to put down. Yet to savor his book, reading it a few sections at a time will prolong the reading pleasure. McManis speaks directly to the reader in an easy, pleasant, conversational style. Even the introduction is a delight to read. He is on assignment for the Sacramento Bee, traveling throughout California over a five-year span with a tiny budget and a small company car to discover “wonder and weirdness.” He divides his book into six chapters, plus a last chapter on Disneyland, sub-divided into sections representing the many stops on his explorations. His first stop is a tiny community called Felicity (population two) in the desert where a man named Istel is building a permanent granite monument of his own to last for millennia. And this brings up two of McManis’s major omissions: a location map of Felicity (and a location map of his many stops throughout) and photographs of his truly visual subjects. Though his descriptions are good, a photo illustration is sorely needed. This is sadly true throughout his book.


Reviewed By:

Author Sam McManis
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 296 pages
Publisher Craven Street Books
Publish Date 2018-Feb-01
ISBN 9781610353137
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Travel
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