Thousand Miles from Nowhere: Trucking Two Continents

Graham Coster, Author North Point Press $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-86547-489-5
Armchair travelers who yearn to know how the world looks from the cab of a long-haul diesel truck may not be surprised to learn from British novelist Coster (Train, Train) that it looks like a road. This road has a series of not dissimilar E.A.T. stops where drivers wolf down globs of gravied starches, and not dissimilar sleeping quarters. Racing back and forth between England and Russia, or from the U.S. East Coast to the West with a load of beer, ice cream or vegetables, drivers don't have much time to see the sights, so Coster, who has accompanied drivers in Europe and America, describes the fine points of different trucks, the best kinds of diesel fuel, the roads in ice or heat, the drivers' skills, their lives and talk, the loads they carry, the diners along the way and the taxes to be paid at border crossings. The drivers of these trucks spend so much of their lives alone in their cabs that some report having difficulty speaking after a long run. Along the way, they listen to their radios; some are bookish in their off-time; others make for the pubs or enter truck-racing contests. A curiosity among travel books. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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