"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lois on the Loose: One Woman, One Motorcycle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas by Lois Pryce

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Summary: A British journalist diaries about her solo motorcycle ride from Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America.

Lois Price writes in what I consider a very British voice, not quite the sly British humor I love, but the understated yet complicated language that people mock today.

“Despite this sudden influx of ursine furry friends I was still keen to carry on camping, although the reality of having one set of clothes and no washing facilities was beginning to make itself known to me, and probably anyone else who had the misfortune to come into contact with me.”

Lois on the Loose tracks one woman’s motorcycle ride from Alaska to Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of South America. It chronicles her misadventures, language difficulties and bike mechanical issues in a cheerful and hopeful voice with normal grumbling. My main grumble - I thought she was supposed to do the bike ride solo, yet she has a companion for much of the way.
The best scene is when she and her companion are crossing borders from one Central American country to another.

“Then the questioning would begin:
Where are you from?
Where are you going?
La Paz.
Where is your husband?
No husband.
You have children?
No children.

This summary of our domestic situation would elicit a look that hovered somewhere between confusion and irritation, followed by the final question.
Drogas? Drugs. You have drugs?
No. No drugs.

With the inquisition at its end, the bemused boy soldiers would send us on our way, the unspoken question written all over their faces: Well… if they haven’t got husbands or children or drugs, then what can they possibly be up to?” ‘ 

This book highlights the journey, not just the destination, but the writing wasn't very approachable, in my mind. 

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