Dodgers is an unconventional road trip novel that centers on a gang member named East. East leaves Compton under the advisement of his uncle, with his brother Ty and a couple of friends, to venture through white Middle America in order to fulfill a dark mission in Wisconsin. As they travel through a part of the country that’s so foreign from what they’re accustomed to, the acts of racism and vandalism they encounter swiftly illustrate just how far from home they are. Brothers East and Ty take their own paths as they grapple with difficult decisions, and ultimately figure out who they want to become outside of Compton, and where they’ll settle to do so.
The Routes of Man
Roads are more powerful than we think: they connect, unite, and empower communities. Conover’s exploration is a wildly interesting book that chronicles the trips of six cargos on six different trucks traveling on six different byways. He follows a truckload of mahogany traveling through Peru, truckers in East Africa who are linked to the spread of AIDS, and, alongside a group of Palestinians, passes through highway checkpoints guarded by Israeli soldiers armed to the hilt. In The Routes of Man, Conover accentuates how the infrastructure of paved roads has played a crucial role in human life.
The quintessential road trip novel will forever be Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and it’s hard to imagine that it will ever forfeit its title as king of all travel narratives. But apart from this classic, there’s no shortage of beautifully written and gripping recounts of road trips with characters as complex and essential as the locations they visit.
Whether you’re hitting the road yourself or staycationing in your own backyard and looking for a story to take you away, we’ve pulled together a list of insightful and wildly entertaining travel books just waiting to be cracked open on a hot summer day.
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