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The Great Northern Express: A Writer's Journey Home    by Howard Frank Moser order for
Great Northern Express
by Howard Frank Moser
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

At the age of sixty-five, after radiation treatments for prostate cancer, author Howard Frank Mosher decided it was time to make the grand tour he and his Uncle Reg had planned for more years than he wanted to count.

Uncle Reg was no longer on this earth but Mosher felt if he didn't just go ahead and do it, he never would. Having eleven books under his belt, he wanted to visit as many book stores (preferably indies) as he could fit in, from New England to the West Coast. He would cover 20,000 miles in three months in his twenty year-old Chevrolet Celebrity (which he called the Loser Cruiser) and hopefully reaffirm his life's work writing.

Hence The Great Northern Express, the story of his inspiring venture. Mosher recounts how he and his wife met, finished their educations, and started teaching school in New England. Although he had so many books published, he was never sure he was doing what he felt he was destined to be doing with his life. Each chapter contains a different memory either of his trip or of his past.

And what delightful memories, as in the times when he would call a bookstore on his list to have a book signing and the person on the other end of the line didn't recognize his name as an author. His determination to spend no more than $100 a day forced him to spend his nights in not quite up-to-par motels. He mentions the people he met along the way. The meals he ate while talking to people, knowing they would become part of his story of the journey.

With a wonderful sense of humor and a desire to know what makes us tick, he has written a book that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last. He gives readers a chance to share his trip with him and possibly to gain what he did - a sense of self. Moser does not attempt to gain sympathy for his cancer. He accepts this turn in his road as part of life and moves on. I recommend The Great Northern Express to you as well worth a read.

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