Title: Mo, Me and America: The Vanishing Rural Community
Author: Randy Turk, Ph.D
Publication: June 30, 2016
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Genre: Documentary, Non-Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
A man, his dog,
and their 15,000-mile search
for rural America.
Randy Turk, along with his dog, Mo, spends sixteen months traveling the country in search of the rural America of his past: a time when Main Street was crowded, family and neighbors lived just down the road, and communities pulled together in times of need.
In conversational interviews with 105 residents, Turk poses three guiding questions: Tell me about your town or community; tell me what it is like to live here; and tell me how it has changed. The participants include farmers, students, pilots, waitresses, artists, editors, volunteer firemen, politicians, museum curators, mayors, business owners, and retirees of every age, creed, and color. What binds them together is not only a belief in second chances but also the fact that they have all experienced life in a type of community that is rapidly vanishing.
It is not gone yet, however. Small Town, USA is alive and well: different, perhaps, but surprisingly vital, just like its people.
Randy Turk has found what he was looking for, and these are their stories.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
When I saw the cover of this book and the description I knew I had to read it. The cover had a gorgeous Golden Retriever on it and an old barn painted red. It just drew me in, The description was fascinating: discovering the vanishing rural America while driving around in a truck and camper with a man and his dog. As he states “the 15,000 miles journey encompassed 32 states and occurred over a 16 month period. I couldn’t wait to read it…
To be honest right out front. I never finished this book, I tried many, many times to read it and just couldn’t bring myself to. That NEVER happens. I might put a book down, get sidetracked, remember I never finished it, then come back and read it. I hardly ever find a book where I dread reading it, much less finishing it. This is one of the books. Don’t get me wrong, the idea behind it was phenomenal. It is something that needs to be explored as our rural America is slowly vanishing. This author was, however, not that person to research and explore it. To start with he spells dog as dawg. That is what got my dander up from the very beginning. No one spells dog as dawg unless they are trying to hard. The story is slow moving and very long winded. He goes into far greater detail than needed for a book of this nature about the area and the founding of it. While I am sure he thought that those facts may be relevant, to my mind they were not. He also adds in sections where Mo the dog talks about her experiences. They are somewhat short and are forced to seem funny. She always seems to treat the author, Randy, as somewhat of an idiot or a person who doesn’t always think things through. Such as with most every one of his overnight stops he always forgets until the last moment to find a place to stay for the night and ends up in a place that invariably doesn’t have a place to camp.
While this book wasn’t my cup of tea, I hope that you will still read it and make your own opinion based on your experience of it. Maybe one day I will decide to open it back up and finish the book. Until then it will remain floating in the internal memory of my Kindle. Happily forgotten.