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.