Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey

Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey

by William Least Heat-Moon

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Overview

About a quarter century ago, a largely unknown wanderer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. It was a travel book like no other, a book that revealed its author to be a chronicler of rare linguitic genius and empathy, a listener who knew that the small places can offer the biggest surprises. Heat-Moon, wrote one reader, was a travel writer as Faulkner was a country historian.

Road to Quoz is Heat-Moon's long-awaited return to America's back roads. It is a lyrical, funny, and magisterially told chronicle of American passage, a journey into the heart of a nation almost desperate for meaning beyond consumerism and self-absorption, a book that invites readers to "discover America anew." (Christian Science Monitor).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316067515
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 11/11/2009
Pages: 581
Sales rank: 777,561
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

William Least Heat-Moon is the author of the bestselling classics Roads to Quoz, Blue Highways, River Horse, and PrairyEarth. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
ghostdance More than 1 year ago
It is hard for me to believe that someone who gave Roads to Quoz a 5 star rating has never even read Blue Highways. Blue is my favorite "book" of all time. I know every page. You can open it up repeat a phrase and I can tell you where the author was, and what page it is on. I have read it over - well over- 100 times! I have mapped out the authors complete journey in 'Blue' and then I have set out over the years to section drive and hike at least 50% of his travels (so far). I have taken photos of different (scenic) places and places of interest like 'Frenchman Nevada' (now gone) and clipped the photos into the pages of my well warn copy of 'Blue'. I search weekly, the internet book line and the NYT book lists - to see if Heat-Moon has anything coming out... EVERY WEEK! Then out comes "praire Earth" .. eh its ok if you want to spend time focusing on a quadrangle of a map.. and I did ... read every word over and over.. it was ok. Although it did not make me want to go to Kansas (although I AM orig from Missouri, same as the author). Next came ... "River Horse" Loved the title, sounded like a Heat-Moon adventure to be sure.... blah.. thumbs down. author pretty-much drove the rivers that he MOTORED down first .. then that whole deal about who Pilotis (or Pilot) was ? what the hell was that? Why am I being asked to solve a puzzle? I want to read an adventure story... an adventure writing, some travel writing... not figure out who is with him on the damn boat. Although I would give that book 3 stars, it did have a few interesting moments. Then the Columbus in America's book... eh just another take on Columbus. I have a library with at least 7 Columbo books each with at least 500 pages. (As sometimes I get into an early American explorers deal). Then I watch that PBS series on Lewis and Clark, only because Heat-Moon was doing some narration on it. But I have got L&C journals and books out the you-know-what allready.. so for me the interesting part was just to watch Heat-Moon narrate. Now after all this time... all the waiting.. for a travel book... I see 'Roads to Quoz' purchase an advanced readers copy, and cleared my calendar for the weekend. Lets see... a lesson in words I cannot pronounce nor want to... readers digest-ish writing about themes that have nothing to do with each other, and a wife he calls Q, how rediculous. Heat-Moon.... strip down to nothing. Go on an adventure, a REAL adventure, leave (Q) at home, and write about it as only you can... but no puzzles, no strange words, no re-hash of early explorers. Just get out there and do it.... again. oh and P.S. If anyone knows where I can find the original 'Ghost Dancing' Van I will buy it today. The only picture I have ever seen of it, is sitting behind a hang glider by Pit Hill. but than again you would have to have read 'Blue Highways' to know that... heh. Read on
Twink More than 1 year ago
Roads to where?

Quoz - n. - referring to anything strange, incongruous or peculiar, at it's heart is the unknown, the mysterious. Rhymes with Oz.

I've had this book for a little bit now, but it isn't one you want to race through at all. It's a fairly hefty book at 550 pages plus, but you need to stop and savour each and every tale.

William Least Heat-Moon landed on the New York Times bestseller list in the early 80's with his first book Blue Highways. Heat-Moon had lost both his job and his wife and decided to travel the back roads of America to see who he would meet and what he would find.

Heat-Moon is discovering hidden gems again with his female companion, Q, in Roads to Quoz - An American Mosey from Hachette Books.

"If you leave a journey exactly who you were before you departed, the trip has been much wasted, even if it's just to the Quickee-Mart."

This journey begins in Arkansas following the path of the Ouachita River. Heat-Moon's inherent curiosity about anything and everything is infectious. What are the origins of such placenames as Smackover, Hog Jaw and Possum Grape? I drove through a small town I'd never been to before the other day and found myself wondering how it came to be named Harmony. That's the captivating thing about Roads to Quoz - once you read of Heat-Moon's travels and interactions you look at things just a little bit differently - and from my point of view, that's a good thing.

This book covers a series of trips taken to various states. The history of each town or place is discussed in fascinating detail. But it is the human stories that captured me the most. Meeting Jean Ingold, with whom he has corresponded by letter for many years. Jean lives in a home of 117 sq.ft. She supports herself minimally, restricting her carbon footprint as much as possible. Her philosophy of life is engrossing. Travelling to the town where his great grandfather was murdered. The Goat Woman of Smackover Creek, who lived for fifty years in 6x20 travelling medicine show truck. Meeting the caretaker of Jack Kerouac's original scroll manuscript of On The Road. The everyday people who stop in a diner and share part of their lives with him. There are numerous other stories, all equally compelling.

How does he find these tales? He opens himself to 'letting himself be found.' Heat-Moon's gift is his view of life and the ability to put to paper and share his curiousity.

I haven't read Blue Highways, but will be seeking it out after reading this book. And taking the lesser travelled road a little more....
NannersNR More than 1 year ago
I have loved William Least-Heat Moon since my mom passed Blue Highways to me because it mentioned her mother's family the Hegwers (Hymer, Kansas). I started it for the family history and fell in love with it because he loves the land, words, and history in all of their ramifications and connections. I think I own all of his books in hardback, and want to have them on my Nook too. I seldom have the time free to sit down and read one through at a sitting, but at least one is always easily available to pick up and continue browsing thru or rereading!
Marek More than 1 year ago
I watch a program on PBS, that has three men and a ball of video tape traveling around the country visiting local roadside art and artists. In that program, there is a croaky voiced man with a slight Southern accent doing the narration. For some reason that voice was in my head while reading this book. I think that, if you like that program, you'll like this book since the concept is similar. The stories are interesting and odd, but with a touch of humor. Alot of them have stayed with me since I've finished the book. The one thing that I found strange, was the long section at the beginning of the book on travelling along the Ouchita river from its source. After finishing that portion I expected more stories on various river travels but the author switched gears and moved on. Like his travels, something unexpected.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roads to where?Quoz - n. - referring to anything strange, incongruous or peculiar, at it's heart is the unknown, the mysterious. Rhymes with Oz.I've had this book for a little bit now, but it isn't one you want to race through at all. It's a fairly hefty book at 550 pages plus, but you need to stop and savour each and every tale.William Least Heat-Moon landed on the New York Times bestseller list in the early 80's with his first book Blue Highways. Heat-Moon had lost both his job and his wife and decided to travel the back roads of America to see who he would meet and what he would find.Heat-Moon is discovering hidden gems again with his female companion, Q, in Roads to Quoz - An American Mosey from Hachette Books."If you leave a journey exactly who you were before you departed, the trip has been much wasted, even if it's just to the Quickee-Mart."This journey begins in Arkansas following the path of the Ouachita River. Heat-Moon's inherent curiosity about anything and everything is infectious. What are the origins of such placenames as Smackover, Hog Jaw and Possum Grape? I drove through a small town I'd never been to before the other day and found myself wondering how it came to be named Harmony. That's the captivating thing about Roads to Quoz - once you read of Heat-Moon's travels and interactions you look at things just a little bit differently - and from my point of view, that's a good thing.This book covers a series of trips taken to various states. The history of each town or place is discussed in fascinating detail. But it is the human stories that captured me the most. Meeting Jean Ingold, with whom he has corresponded by letter for many years. Jean lives in a home of 117 sq.ft. She supports herself minimally, restricting her carbon footprint as much as possible. Her philosophy of life is engrossing. Travelling to the town where his great grandfather was murdered. The Goat Woman of Smackover Creek, who lived for fifty years in 6x20 travelling medicine show truck. Meeting the caretaker of Jack Kerouac's original scroll manuscript of On The Road. The everyday people who stop in a diner and share part of their lives with him. There are numerous other stories, all equally compelling.How does he find these tales? He opens himself to 'letting himself be found.' Heat-Moon's gift is his view of life and the ability to put to paper and share his curiousity.I haven't read Blue Highways, but will be seeking it out after reading this book. And taking the lesser travelled road a little more....
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mostly enjoyable, esp. when the author forgets himself and tells about the places and people he meets -- then it's the best type of travel memoir -- idiosyncratic, insightful, illuminating, fun. But he is a little too much present and the book's a little forced. Too many "quozes" and invented philosophy.
nemoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a bit of a return to form by Moon, by which I refer to his earlier book [Blue Highways]. Here, Moon once again travels through America's backwaters in search of local color, be it peculiar characters, strange structures, phenomena, or landscapes, and oddments of forgotten minor American history. The book is loosely organized by geographic region. It is at its best when the travels are most structured. For example, Moon travels from the headwaters of the Ouachita River in Arkansas to where it meets the Mississippi. In so doing he roughly traces the route of the precursor to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sometimes his writing reminds me of John McPhee, for example when he hooks up with a disciple of railcycles. The book only flags in one spot where he decides to drive into Maine's Allagash Wilderness. The boredom of this book section no doubt reflects his own boredom with miles of second growth forest, punctuated only by an occasional lumber truck. His wife accompanies him and adds an additional enjoyable voice to Moon's commentary.
YogiABB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roads to Quoz" is William Least Heat-Moon's latest book. It based on travels that he and his wife took to various parts of the United States. Quoz refers to the odd and remarkable but unexpected that one finds on the road while traveling. This book is not so much a travel book but a book of stories that he picked up while traveling. Darned good stories also about forgotten expeditions, drug running, real estate speculation, childhood escapades. Story after story. Is this a good read? Sure. Just be ready to jump ahead because he bogs down every now and then. There is an excellent 250 page book in this 535 page book. I rate this 3 stars out of 4. "Blue Highways","PraireyErth", and "River-Horse" are other books that he wrote that I read. They are all travel books except that PraireyErth was confined to a township in central Kansas. Blue Highways was his first book. He had just got fired and divorced. The writing was to the point. Hey, he needed the money. Its the only book besides Tom Sawyer that I've read three times.
frisbeesage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roads to Quoz is the story of William Least Heat-Moon and his wife Q's travels around America. Quoz are the quirky, peculiar, little oddities that you can stumble across when your heart and mind are open. You must travel at the pace of a mosey, something Least Heat-Moon has perfected and a companion the likes of Q, wise and witty, is also helpful.I enjoyed this lengthy, leisurely, mosey across America. As he goes the author meanders off into whatever subject catches his interest, so you will hear about Quapaw Ghost Light of Oklahoma, getting lost in the Maine woods, a man with unconventional ways of raising money to start a school, and so many other fascinating stories it is impossible to relate them all here. Best of all you will come to know Q and admire the way she keeps Least Heat-Moon firmly and hilariously in his place!I listened to this book on audio and Sherman Howard does a great job of setting the relaxed gently inquisitive tone. His voice matches Least Heat-Moon's personality so well that for awhile I thought the author was reading the book himself!
Polaris- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent. Classic Heat Moon quoziness exploring the corners of the US that few others ever bother to report from. Few, if any, write with such a glint in their eye as he does. Each chapter is a new delight of oddity - full of colour, sounds, and smells. Most of the smells are great...WLHM has a knack of writing about places in a way that makes me want to visit if not the exact same destinations, then at least an opolis in the right direction..just over there.. Great stuff. I don't know how long until his next book will be published but I hope it's not too long a wait.
Maertel More than 1 year ago
A way bit too quirky...sure hope he travels out again up to Wisconsin and, this time, gives more attention to the people and the country.
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Rabbit-Reads More than 1 year ago
Roads to Quoz is a meandering delight. In this book Least-heat Moon seems to have arrived at a kinder, gentler place in his life. He is ironic but not cynical,and quizzical more than curious--ah another one of those quesasy Q words. He travels with his lady this time around and his roving doesn't feel as driven as it did in Blue Highways. Perhaps it is a function of growing older and perhaps it is a function of being in touch with the memory of other journeys, but it works well as a literary convenience to move us along. This is a book you can pick up, chew on for a bit and put down while you muse over what you read, and then just as happily pick up where you left off. I did find myself wearing out with all the cute "Q" stuff but in order to see the world through his eyes and in his company, I'll keep "Quiet" to keep him company because I want to go where he goes. Quoz is a gentle and thought-provoking delight for travel literature readers and armchair thinkers alike.
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OldManAt263 More than 1 year ago
Like his earlier 'travelogues' this book takes you out of the everyday into a different view of things. I had trouble sleeping couldn't put it down and having pit it down could not get it out of my mind. I felt very Walter Mitty-ish living life vicariously with him and Q.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
Roads to Quoz is the story of William Least Heat-Moon and his wife Q's travels around America. Quoz are the quirky, peculiar, little oddities that you can stumble across when your heart and mind are open. You must travel at the pace of a mosey, something Least Heat-Moon has perfected and a companion the likes of Q, wise and witty, is also helpful.

I enjoyed this lengthy, leisurely, mosey across America. As he goes the author meanders off into whatever subject catches his interest, so you will hear about Quapaw Ghost Light of Oklahoma, getting lost in the Maine woods, a man with unconventional ways of raising money to start a school, and so many other fascinating stories it is impossible to relate them all here. Best of all you will come to know Q and admire the way she keeps Least Heat-Moon firmly and hilariously in his place!
I listened to this book on audio and Sherman Howard does a great job of setting the relaxed gently inquisitive tone. His voice matches Least Heat-Moon's personality so well that for awhile I thought the author was reading the book himself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy the authors writing style.