Bowling Across America: 50 States in Rented Shoes

Mike Walsh, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-312-36619-3

After Walsh's father dies in the middle of a handball game, the young advertising executive quits his job to follow a variant on one of the old man's dreams by bowling at least once in all 50 states. (Walsh tried to add the District of Columbia to the list, but the White House wasn't keen on letting him roll in its basement lanes.) Walsh's story has a string of amusing moments—he loses a game against a blind man, has failed romantic encounters in three different states and almost misses his last game because of a stubborn car rental clerk—but lacks dramatic tension. From the moment he sets out in the car his mother lends him, Walsh's ability to complete his mission is never in doubt; as soon as he mentions the possibility of a sponsorship from a beer company, readers can safely assume he'll close the deal—which simply means he spends most of the trip drinking their beer. It's a clever enough story, but apart from some self-deprecating quips about how women (like his ex-girlfriend) don't really go for unemployed nomads, readers looking for a transformative life lesson will have to look elsewhere. (Oct. 30)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4668-1290-1
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