Title: Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America
Author: George Mahood
Publication: October 2, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Travel, Biographies, Memoirs
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America.
Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine – the worst car in the world – and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California?
And then there is Rachel, George’s girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?
George Mahood has done it again. Yet another entertaining book from him. This is the 5th book of his I have read. Sixth if you count the short novella about the ultra marathon he did. The second I got the email stating that this book was finally for sale on Amazon, I squealed with excitement and quickly purchased it. I couldn’t wait to read a Brits thoughts on traveling across the land that I call home.
The book starts off with George and his friend Mark making plans to do a road trip across the back roads of America. They work to make extra cash. They plan on buying a used car and using it to travel. Things are all in place until Mark’s visa gets declined while George’s get approved. While that delays Mark by a bit, George still leaves for America as planned and Mark soon follows. When they meet up in NYC, they check the classifieds and find an advert for a van. They respond and eventually buy a van, who is named Josephine, hence the title of the book. The van causes them nothing but grief the whole trip. From having four tires that are not the same size to a blown transmission and a bullet hole in the rear window. Despite all of this they grow to love the van. They get the van and begin the road trip. They head south and stop in Memphis and other cities. They visit all the cliche museums and roadside attractions. The drive to the waterfall just to find a sign that states the waterfall used to be here until the water source dried up and so did the waterfall. The trip is just George and Mark until they reach California where George’s aunt and uncle live on a ranch. The plan is to stay there and mind the ranch while the aunt and uncle go to Britain to visit family for the Christmas season. Mark eventually goes back home and Geoge continues on and finds work in Breckenridge as a cook at a hostel owned by two Brits. He makes breakfast and then delivers food at night for local restaurants. There is so much more to this book but will let you discover.
I don’t want to say that this book wasn’t good. It was. I loved it. It just wasn’t as funny as the other ones or maybe I was just not in the right mindset. Either way, I loved this book in the entirety. I enjoyed the bigger back story to how he met his wife and his scheming and plotting to get her to come to America and finish the road trip with him. Aside from a few choice words, his books are always clean. He has the ability to put himself and Mark into hilarious situations and the writing skill to tell about them. This book reminds me that America is not all high powered executives and big cities. It is the small towns and back roads that America really was built on. In this day and age we really shouldn’t forget that. Sometimes it’s seeing it through a foreigner’s eyes that make us remember. Four out of five stars.