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The Oregon Trail : a new American journey

Recounts the author's two-thousand-mile trip on the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules, and discusses the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the United States. - (Baker & Taylor)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER &; #1 Indie Next Pick &; Winner of the PEN New England Award

&;Enchanting&;A book filled with so much love&;Long before Oregon, Rinker Buck has convinced us that the best way to see America is from the seat of a covered wagon.&; &;The Wall Street Journal

&;Amazing&;A real nonfiction thriller.&; &;Ian Frazier, The New York Review of Books

&;Absorbing&;Winning&;The many layers in The Oregon Trail are linked by Mr. Buck&;s voice, which is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson&;s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods.&; &;Dwight Garner, The New York Times

A major bestseller that has been hailed as a &;quintessential American story&; (Christian Science Monitor), Rinker Buck&;s The Oregon Trail is an epic account of traveling the 2,000-mile length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way&;in a covered wagon with a team of mules&;that has captivated readers, critics, and booksellers from coast to coast. Simultaneously a majestic journey across the West, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, Buck&;s chronicle is a &;laugh-out-loud masterpiece&; (Willamette Week) that &;so ensnares the emotions it becomes a tear-jerker at its close&; (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and &;will leave you daydreaming and hungry to see this land&; (The Boston Globe). - (Simon and Schuster)

Author Biography

Rinker Buck began his career in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle and was a longtime staff writer for the Hartford Courant. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his work has won PEN New England Award, the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of The Oregon Trail as well as the acclaimed memoirs Flight of Passage and First Job. He lives in northwest Connecticut. - (Simon and Schuster)

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AudioFile Reviews

Rinker Buck sucks the listener into his "see America slowly" trip over the Oregon Trail in a mule-drawn covered wagon with his brother, Nick. It's a crazy, arduous, and sometimes dangerous adventure completely out of its time. The hilarious and heartwarming relationship between Rinker--neat freak, control freak, planner--and Nick--a slob with a dirty dog, a penchant for swearing, and the ability to fix absolutely anything--is clearly apparent in Buck's voice. He shares a fair bit of history about mules, Schuttler wagons, cholera, Mormons, and female pioneers. Occasionally, Buck can be a bit stiff in the historical narration, but this weakness is more than made up for by his humorous self-deprecation as he chases runaway mules across the Wyoming plains in Walmart slippers dodging antelope skeletons and gets ripped off by an Amish tack merchant. A.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

Library Journal Reviews

Buck (Flight of Passage) recounts his four-month journey following the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by mules, accompanied by his brother, Nick, and a dog named Olive Oyl. Peppered with reminiscences of the covered wagon trip his family took when he was a child, this adventure highlights the difficulties of travel without mechanization and often without communication. The author narrates the book himself, and while his reading is a bit uneven, Buck's low-key humor will pull listeners into the scenes as he describes chasing his runaway mules and repairing broken wheels. The author does an excellent job balancing discussion of the historical impact of the Oregon Trail with a current-day travelog about the people and places he encountered. VERDICT For fans of travel reads, those who love the Old West, and history buffs. ["Recommended for folk interested in the Oregon Trail, pioneer history, or mules": LJ 4/15/15 review of the S. & S. hc.]—Cheryl Youse, Norman Park, GA

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