Lois On The Loose – a book to crack me up.


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book review of Lois on the Loose by Lois Prcye


I don’t love travel books.  Much as I love to travel, I find reading about others travels a tepid drink of backwash. Of course I readily hold forth on my own travel adventures, which you’ll just have to trust are perfectly woolly tales of danger and enlightenment. But I’m taking my hat off to Lois Pryce and her book Lois on the Loose and I’m waving it enthusiastically in the air.

The one word I’d say in any number of way is: FUNNY!  I snicked, snorted and giggled my way through the book.  The language alone is comically British and I always have a titter when some one says “Crikey!”.

But that’s only half of what carried me through the book chronicaling Lois on her trip from Alaska to the tip of South America upon a tiny 250 motorcycle. What kept me turning the pages was her own focus on the road itself, the drive to keep moving. An obsession to keep on keeping on.

She doesn’t dwell on what she ate at a great hole in the wall restaurant, or how charming the locals at the market, or the political or cultural aspects of the counties she passed through.  The most detailed she gets is at the border crossings and they seem to sum up her experiences ranging from somewhat criminal to charming.

The best bits of the story seem to be the worst bits of the road. I try to keep that in mind when traveling “this will make a great story” as its always more fun than hearing about sunshine and stellar views. Lois suffers so many brutal conditions and stretches of misery that I was left happy to just be an armchair reader.

Oh and the might of the pen. It was a juicy read to hear the antics of her miserable travel companion who would say things like “How do you idiots get anything done in this place? God I’m so fucking sick of useless fucking Peru”. Wouldn’t it be cathartic if you could detail someone’s bad behavior and have lots of people read about it?

Well I won’t be a plot spoiler, just get your own copy and enjoy. I just ordered her next book “Red Tape and White Knuckles” where she one-ups herself and crosses Africa on another wee bike.

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One Response to “Lois On The Loose – a book to crack me up.”

  1. Claudia Says:

    I’ve just started “Lois on the Loose,” and it looks like it will be a wonderful ride of a book. I’m parceling it out to myself (by which I mean I’ve left it in the bathroom) so it will last.

    BTW, I’m right there with you on Pirsig’s “Zen.” I’d heard of it for years, felt obligated to read it. The observations on actual travel events were fine, but the deep obsessive dives into (I think pointless) philosophy wore me down. I skated through the last bits as I’d race down the last few country miles to my house with a full bladder, with much the same detachment and discomfort.

    I was equally tired by the time I finished Ted Simon’s “Jupiter’s Travels,” perhaps because of my expectations of greatness. He seemed a bit hangdog until he finally got laid. But by then it was too late for me.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Dan Walsh’s “Endless Horizon” is a rollicking, profane, exhausting contrast to both Pirsig and the pious Simon. I wouldn’t want to be downwind from Walsh, but I’d buy him a beer.

    I’m so looking forward to seeing “Chicks on Bikes” and keeping up with your adventures, now that I’ve found you!

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