Slowspoke: A Unicyclist’s Guide to America

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What happens when a boy raised in a log cabin, a boy more comfortable with solar cookers, compost toilets, and homegrown food than television, decides to take to the open roads on his unicycle, journeying from North Carolina to Arizona? What does he make of modern America? What does modern America make of him?

This is the central arc – but by no means the only arc – of Slowspoke, Mark Schimmoeller’s musings on life from a slightly higher and wobblier position. He chronicles not only his two-part trip across America, but his life story, that of his parents, a love story, and an environmental mission he and his wife undertake. Ricocheting back and forth across time, Schimmoeller keeps multiple plates spinning as he pedals and you turn pages.

This is slow, patient storytelling, occasionally aggravatingly so — but I suspect that says more about my impatient East Coast nature than the book itself. He does tend to lose himself in florid descriptions of nature and his low carbon footprint lifestyle, evoking Walden-era Thoreau without the greater social commentary.

If you’re looking for a return-to-nature aesthetic without any judgments attached, Slowspoke is right for you.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 322 pages
Publisher Synandra Press
Publish Date 2013-Oct-04
ISBN 9780986058707 Buy this Book
Issue March 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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