The metaphorical temptation is unavoidable when it comes to delivering critical judgment on Marc Beaudin’s wedding of prose and poetry in a near fanatical paean to hitchhiking, that most humble manner of travel. So here’s a thumbs up.
The literary device he uses is inspired by haibun, which originated in seventeenth-century Japan with the combining of prose and haiku. The fact that he’s familiar with such fancy writing sets him apart, it seems fair to say, from your ordinary hitchhiker in a clan he defends against what he sees as a conspiracy engineered by, among others, AAA, which ran a Thumbs Down on Thumbers campaign, and that “Gestapoist criminal J. Edgar Hoover” who, Beaudin alleges, planted newspaper stories of psychopaths, rapists, murderers, and sex fiends prowling the highways.
Beaudin is originally from Michigan and now lives in Livingston, Montana, where he is co-owner of Elk River Books and the artistic director of a theater company. He’s hitchhiked all over the United States, depending on his thumb whenever it gets so that “If I don’t get back on the road I’m going to lose my dog-damn mind howling mad and barking crazy like some burning saint.”
Not much bad happened to him except some unpleasant run-ins with the cops, and poetic moments win out as with
The night’s only star—
A moth caught in the streetlight
Still, I make my wish
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.