The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, By James A Reeves

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The Independent Culture

An on-the-road book that is half-Kerouac, half-photo essay. The pictures, which show the influence of William Eggleston and Steven Shore, extract an austere beauty from the back roads of America.

Combined with the self-observing text, the effect is mesmerising but not much fun. After a jittery time in Nevada and seeing a fight in Santa Monica ("fast and messy with hard rabbit punches"), successive pages begin: "After my mother's funeral..."; "Last night I had a terrifying dream"; "My mom wanted to be cremated..."

Reeves was also hypnotised by the experience. The entire text of p.349 reads: "I do not know how to stop this book." He manages it after 54 more pages.