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Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Engl...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Engl...

Post Number:#1 by kislany
» 30 Oct 2017, 07:30

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Footloose In America - Dixie To New England" by Bud Kenny.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by kislany
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Footloose In America - Dixie To New England by Bud Kenny is a tale about two people (and their mule, Della) who got to live the American dream.

Bud Kenny had one big goal: to walk on foot across America. Back in his younger years, in the 1970s, he had already made a similar journey between Pennsylvania and Arkansas across some 8,000 miles, and now he got the travel itch again. This time, however, he wanted to take his new bride, Patricia, along. The excursion would start in Arkansas and end in Maine. Leaving everything behind, businesses, homes, and belongings, they began their new adventure and never looked back.

As Bud, Patricia, and Della were strolling towards their destination, they knew they would have a long way ahead. They would spend their nights in a tent on the road and their days walking. Along the way, some people would offer them lodging for the night. Others would give them money for Della’s carrots and apples. Yet others would swear at them and even threaten them verbally for all sorts of trivial reasons (usually because they would occupy the most part of a narrow road).

I had never before experienced so many emotions while reading a single book. I was at times laughing, crying, smiling, and frowning. Bud’s sense of humor shined through his writing. When some kind people gave them a room for the night, I burst out laughing when each party would ask about the other, “What if they are homicidal ax murderers?” On the other hand, when Lilly, a young girl with cerebral palsy, and Della came face to face, I had a few tears rolling down my cheeks. This scene was so emotional that I had to put the book down for a bit.

Bud and Patricia were on the road when September 11 happened. Before that day, Bud would describe how friendly and trusting everyone was towards strangers like them entering their town. After 9/11, Bud noticed with some sorrow, “Since this terrorist thing, being on the road is a lot different … People aren’t smiling and waving at us like they did before.“

I’ve learned a lot about the American history through Bud’s book. Folks they met would share stories about their towns. I got to experience the Amish people differently from the way TV programs and movies would depict them. One of the Amish explained why they don’t love modern technology. It has nothing to do with hate towards those gadgets and everything to do with the need to keep their families close not only physically but also mentally. When you’re constantly on the cell phone, you lose touch with the folks around you. When you have your own car, you’re always away from home and family. And when you’re watching TV all night long, you no longer have conversations with the people you love.

The descriptions of some places took my breath away. Landscapes with gorgeous waterfalls, “rugged high bluffs, steep valleys, lush wood lands and long breathtaking views of the shimmering Ohio” would forever be etched in my mind.

Della was pretty much the star of the whole trip. Everyone wanted to pet her and she was adorable to children and adults alike. You could tell that she was enjoying the outing as much as Bud and Patricia were. When they saw a band marching across the field and playing their drums and cymbals, Della was enthralled just like a small kid. If you ever thought animals have no souls, now would be the time to reconsider.

The writing style is clear and enjoyable. Bud uses simple and direct words, the way he would speak when telling you a story around a campfire. The book looks professionally edited, as I haven’t found any grammatical or spelling errors. At some point, I got so engrossed in the narrative that I even forgot to look for them. I’ll give Footloose In America - Dixie To New England 4 out of 4 stars. Whether you like memoirs, love stories, and books that make feel a whole range of emotions, read this story. You will be that much richer for it.

******
Footloose In America - Dixie To New England
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#2 by Treistar
» 31 Oct 2017, 23:22

It is incredible how a person can make a journey of 8,000 miles on foot.Footloose in America is a good book to read as it give the overview and general landscape of America.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#3 by Kalin Adi
» 01 Nov 2017, 00:19

A mule as a pet? That's quite unconventional. But then again, my grandma had an anteater. I like the fact that the book contains a lot of situations that evoke in the reader different emotions. Thanks for this splendid recommendation.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#4 by VanessaAisel
» 01 Nov 2017, 01:01

As one that lives in Ohio I must agree about the breathtaking views! It sounds like and amazing book! Thank you!-
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#5 by MsTri
» 01 Nov 2017, 01:33

I'm not completely sold, but this sounds pretty interesting. Having lived in Ohio for the first several decades of my life, with Amish on the outskirts of my town, I'm especially intrigued by the Amish parts you mentioned; I love getting a TRUE viewpoint, as opposed to what's shown in the Media. I think it'd also be nice to revisit what [many] citizens were like pre-9/11, when we were living on slightly less high alert.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#6 by kislany
» 01 Nov 2017, 01:38

@Treistar it definitely is. I agree. I wouldn't be able to do it (I'm as lazy as it gets), but kudos to those who have a dream a go after it with all they have.

@Kalin Adi the mule was the "horse" for their wagon. But that mule was so much more. Honestly, often I had the feeling that Della understood everything the people were saying around here. Oh, something I forgot to mention in the review (there was so much in the book, I could have written a book of my own about their adventures) is the numerous photos in the book featuring Della. She is really adorable.

@VanessaAisel I've never been in those parts of the world, so all I can do is live vicariously through books such as this one.

@MsTri when I started to read the book, I thought, oh well, it will be a nice change of pace from the usual sci-fi and fast-paced crime mystery novels I read. Well, I was wrong. This book sucked me in from the first chapter and never let me go.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#7 by VanessaAisel
» 01 Nov 2017, 01:47

@kislany I do the same as well! I live in Ohio but have only been the a few of the states around me, never seen the world, unless in a book or picture! That's one of my fav things about descriptive writers, being able to see what they see through their words!
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#8 by Mercy Bolo
» 01 Nov 2017, 05:01

Hiking isn't my favorite activity but I think this is a book I would enjoy. Thank you for a job well done.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#9 by kandscreeley
» 01 Nov 2017, 07:26

From the title and cover, I wouldn't have thought that this was such an interesting book. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#10 by Gingerbo0ks
» 01 Nov 2017, 19:25

Really enjoyed reading this one, your enjoyment of it shines through. Sounds like it deserves it's 4 stars. I love the idea of walking across America! I'm too lazy though.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#11 by kislany
» 02 Nov 2017, 02:24

@VanessaAisel you are so right! I am the same, and that's one reason I love reading books so much.

@Mercy Bolo thank you. I think you will like this book too.

@kandscreeley that's exactly what I thought when I first picked it up. It will be a relatively boring book about two people's travels. How wrong I was!

@Gingerbo0ks I'm just as lazy as well. That's why living vicariously through the eyes of such authors is a big thing for me.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#12 by Kat Berg
» 02 Nov 2017, 21:15

kandscreeley wrote:From the title and cover, I wouldn't have thought that this was such an interesting book. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

I'm with you here. I never would have picked this book up with just the title and the cover to go by, but the review is very good and makes me want to read the book.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#13 by Mtsweni Nelsy
» 03 Nov 2017, 14:52

That sounds like a interesting book to read. Thanks for such a thoroughly-written book review.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#14 by ZeroChill
» 05 Nov 2017, 06:07

Amazing to see someone make a journey of 8000 miles on foot. Nice review, perfecr description and good discussion.
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Re: Official Review: Footloose In America - Dixie To New Eng

Post Number:#15 by Al Chakauya
» 06 Nov 2017, 02:08

Making a 8 000 mile journey on foot is amazing. A story full of emotion makes a good read all the time. It's intriguing when the reader can relate with the author to an extent the reader believes a mule has a soul. A great review, well done.
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