Riding Toward Everywhere

Riding Toward Everywhere Vollmann is a relentlessly curious endlessly sensitive unequivocally adventurous examiner of human existence He s investigated the causes symptoms of humanity s obsession with violence Rising Up Risi

  • Title: Riding Toward Everywhere
  • Author: William T. Vollmann
  • ISBN: 9780061256752
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Vollmann is a relentlessly curious, endlessly sensitive unequivocally adventurous examiner of human existence He s investigated the causes symptoms of humanity s obsession with violence Rising Up Rising Down , taken a personal look into the hearts minds of the world s poorest inhabitants Poor People , now turns his attentions to America itsVollmann is a relentlessly curious, endlessly sensitive unequivocally adventurous examiner of human existence He s investigated the causes symptoms of humanity s obsession with violence Rising Up Rising Down , taken a personal look into the hearts minds of the world s poorest inhabitants Poor People , now turns his attentions to America itself, to our romanticizing of freedom the ways in which we restrict the very freedoms we profess to admire For Riding Toward Everywhere, Vollmann himself takes to the rails His main accomplice is Steve, a captivating fellow trainhopper who expertly accompanies him thru the secretive waters of this particular way of life Vollmann describes the thrill terror of lying in a trainyard in the dark, avoiding the flickering flashlights of railroad bulls the gorgeously wild scenery of the American West as seen from a grainer platform the complicated considerations involved in trying to hop a moving train It s a dangerous, thrilling, evocative examination of this underground lifestyle, it s one of Vollmann s most hauntingly beautiful narratives Questioning anything everything, subjecting both our national romance our skepticism about hobo life to his finely tuned, analytical eye the reality of what he actually sees, he carries on in the tradition of Huckleberry Finn, providing a moving portrait of this strikingly modern vision of the American dream.

    • Riding Toward Everywhere >> William T. Vollmann
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      Published :2019-07-24T05:40:31+00:00

    About “William T. Vollmann”

    1. William T. Vollmann

      William Tanner Vollmann is an American novelist, journalist, short story writer and essayist He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter.

    527 thoughts on “Riding Toward Everywhere”

    1. I liked this book more than the three stars may lead one to believe. I couldn't give it more than three because I don't think this is a 'book', it's kind of like a really good magazine article with some rambling essays tacked on. I'm not actually sure who the audience for this book is. Vollmann fanatics? Are there that many of them? For a couple of years I had a mild to more than passing interest in hopping trains. I never actually did it, but it was something that I thought about trying. I roma [...]

    2. What if Hobos Had Wings and God Was a Bum?Artist: Mike Brodie#5126, 2006–2009 (From the series A Period of Juvenile Prosperity)mikebrodie/bookLove Me TenderThis work started off as a short 50 page essay on hopping freight trains that was published in Harpers. Vollmann subsequently added 11 chapters to make up a book of 190 pages (plus photos and miscellanea).It's not a major work by any means. However, it is worth reading, especially as an introduction to his body of work, because of what it r [...]

    3. Then through a vaginal cut in the red rock, our freight train pulled us up into the sky, with small pines on either side of the tracks, and the entire world was red like Bryce Canyon or Zion.I am nearly sure I saw WTV and his family, a short while back in Atlanta, as we were preparing to fly to London. I didn't approach him but now I wonder if he was struggling with an interior urgency: I need to get out of here. Not what I expected. Riding Toward Everywhere is less sociology than travel. Well, [...]

    4. Riding Toward Everywhere, William T. Vollman's non-fiction account of hopping freight trains and attempting to understand the hobo lifestyle, seems to fit rather snugly into the author's thematic obsession with fringe-dwellers and failures. It's the archetypal form of marginal social life. Or at least it's a lifestyle that Vollmann sees as being dramatically demarcated from that of any normal U.S. citizen. Poverty doesn't even explain why one would engage in such a dangerous and illegal activity [...]

    5. I always enjoy Vollman's non-fiction. This one made me a touch nervous however, in that 'you two old fools are going to put an eye out' kind of way. I mean, geez, I have a friend in the States who won't even consider Greyhound ever since her buddy was garrotted from the seat behind by some crackhead. I always went Trailways. Cross country 3 times, not a peep or a garrotte. Trailways drivers run a tight ship. They'll put you out in the desert for bothering people and everybody knows it. They also [...]

    6. For the detractors of Vollmann as the exploiter of whores, enfant terrible, provocateur, et. al I kindly turn your attention to this lovely little book. This is High Romance, WTV-style. Think of it as his love letter to America. Chockablock with gorgeous writing that would put many Naturalists to shame, the brief Riding Toward Everywhere also (typically) finds Vollmann associating with the Others of society. Perhaps untypically, he lets us in on his personal life (a divorce-wanting wife, his dau [...]

    7. "Isn't going anywhere the same as going nowhere? [] Isn't running away from everything the same as running toward everything? In which case, isn't fear the same as happiness? Would I be riding the freight trains if I wasn't trying to escape something?"While reading this book, I couldn't stop thinking of Peter Matthiessen's wonderful The Snow Leopard, though they are very different. But they're both pilgrims, both running away from something but also toward something, however unnameable. Matthies [...]

    8. This was the first Vollmann I ever read, years and years ago. I was attracted to it more for the subject matter than the author. I used to have friends who got around by hopping freight trains. It's a horribly inefficient way to travel, and sometimes when getting off or on people have been known to slip and lose a digit. All the same, impossible not to feel tempted. youtube/watch?v=rxIG2(whenever I catch myself listening to unhealthy amounts of Tom Waits, I know it's time to switch something up) [...]

    9. I originally selected this to take with me on a train trip in 2013, the year I was going to go on a train trip right before a conference in California, also the year I was planning to read a book from every state. Oh, how plans can derail (har har) - I had to cancel my entire trip, never made plans for another train trip (sad), so this book has been sitting around and I decided to finally give it a read. I come to William T. Vollman from a weird perspective - I have never read his fiction, altho [...]

    10. I kind of hated this book because the author seems like an uppity stuck up rich person. It's really easy to talk about how much "freedom" riding the rails affords when you know you can call your friends to pick you up and take you to your nice house, or a supermarket where you can buy food. I liked reading it because the people he meets are interesting, and even they sometimes point out what an asshole "citizen" he is. Basically Vollman reminds me of trust fund kids who slum it.

    11. msarki.tumblr/post/164551Never been much of a Kerouac or Dean Moriarity fan, but have always been interested in the road, marching to a different beat, and eating off the land. The people Vollmann highlights here do not exactly fit the exacting romance I hold so dear. What William does achieve however is making me listen to him and actually focus on what he has to say. And that is good writing, no matter the subject or obsessions posed on his page. I read this book much as a slow-moving train. T [...]

    12. it'd been a long while since i've spent time with vollmann but i was glad i did. there's a slippery but wise, wise but slippery, and overall generous morality of his that i can't help but admire. and there's a beauty here i think of like walser's: all over sparking with insight, sweet and sad and willing to be true to his own emotions despite those being against trends, risking and at home in shame and humiliation in the past i thought the quip of carole maso's of various self-important doorsto [...]

    13. I'll write more laterThis book is about a particular fear and feeling. Vollmann describes an America, shortly after 9/11 and in the grips of George W and his tightened security. Vollmann feels and senses a loss of freedom, and longs to regain it by riding the rails. He quotes from Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Kerouac's On the Road with respect to their own attempts to leave somewhere and reach Everywhere. but where is that? Can you ever attain Everywhere? What is it we are longing for? What does [...]

    14. Traveling is a fools paradise says Emerson and I pray to be a fool. p56In this well put together collection of essays and ruminations WV proves himself to be a delightful road companion: considerate, patient, with a good eye for fleeting beauty framed through the door of a boxcar.Lyrical, literate, sometimes dreamy, sometimes gritty (a whole chapter on graffiti porn) VW's writing is always in the vivid present, even as he swings back and forth in time. What if I am not here because I am not myse [...]

    15. Life got you down? Maybe you need to become a hobo!Vollmann's optimism about people and his search for freedom in hopping trains infuses a book that might be seen as depressing. Because most of these people have nothing, and are shunned by the "citizens" they meet, to say nothing of the train bulls who arrest them, kick them off freights, and run them from yard and camps. But for Vollmann, a little kindness goes a long way, and the feeling of sneaking onto a boxcar as it leaves a yard for who kn [...]

    16. This little book is as American as apple=pie. You can't read it without thinking of well, just listen to this collection of old railroad songs by The Norman Luboff Choir, just listen to that Big Rock Candy Mountain ::youtube/watch?v=fOW21This is probably my favoritest folk album of all time. Hallelujah I'm a Bum!!!

    17. Rarely, if ever, have I taken such a rapid and intense dislike for an author and a book as I did for the egocentric and pretentious Vollmann and his 'let me dip my toe in hoboism' waste of paper. His tone is obnoxiously affected and bombastic, his attitude toward his subject matter couldn't be more condescending if he were visiting a human zoo, and his sense of his own eloquence is criminally overambitious. I detest people who want to experience a fringe of society, but only in the safety of kno [...]

    18. I just finished reading this a few minutes ago and in about 30 minutes that madman Vollmann will be here talking about catching out. This book is pretty amazing. What's it about?A lot of things. The decline of the American West. The decline of the American hobo. The decline of dreams. At times this, to me, is a very depressing book. A particular section titled, "I've got to get out of here" was tough to get through. Even though its only 6 pages.Lines like, "Reconsidered in this light, Hemingway' [...]

    19. Embittered by the policies of the Bush administration, disillusioned by the general fear growing within our society and slowed by age and poor health, National Book Award Winner William T. Vollmann sets out on a series of freight trains through the Western United States. He has no destination in mind, only a yearning to discover something pure, something American in the best sense of the word.His is not the life of one of the real, hard-up hobos, whom he describes throughout Riding Toward Everyw [...]

    20. i suspect i've been pre-ordained to like Vollmann. by the time you hear he's a graduate of Deep Springs College, a mysterious all-boys only two-year program that then puts the graduates into harvard, yale, chicago etc and then that he bounced around Afghanistan before Osama bin Laden showed up, it's clear this is an outlaw intellect, a minstrel writer. in some deep-in-the-Rocky mountains cowboy college, friendships are born and the plumbs of one's soul tried. Deep Springers are required by the c [...]

    21. Kelly is the best of my apartment-mate John's friends from Manitoba. The two of them met while at the Winnipeg bookstore where Kelly still works. His job sees him down in Chicago and on one of our couches for booksellers' conventions regularly. When he comes he brings books like this one.At first I didn't expect to read it. Yet the reading of one history after another led me to want a break, something light, so I looked at Vollman's book. Well, it wasn't a novel--it's about riding the rails. I'm [...]

    22. I love this book because it told me something about America I didn't know, and now will do my best not to forget. As for its formal, aesthetic virtues as a text, it is a nearly ideal demonstration of how to frame an intensely personal experience within a literary, political and socio-economic context without abrading any of its numinous qualities.I have also read J. R. Moehringer's scathing review of this book in the NY Times, and found it wonderful: delicious, punchy and hilarious.I recommend b [...]

    23. Read concurrently with From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus's Run, Atet A.D The theoretical of travel/music/journey/arrival in the blur between these two is more than happenstance should permit me as a reader. Pair them yourself, and watch this difference sing in key while catching out toward the sonic everywhere of the american underground.

    24. Author tries too hard to be London and Kerouac, with a bit of Matthiessen thrown in (especially the last part), but his more abstract thoughts are not expressed as clearly as any of them. You will learn a few things about riding the rails, but it is nowhere near explanatory. Still, enjoyable enough to read, and a modern take on the tramp story as told by a white-collar guy.

    25. I have been mildly infatuated with Vollmann for some time, though this is the first book I have read of his. I read a few chapters of his significantly abridged seven volume (yeah, that's right, seven) treatise on violence, Rising Up & Rising Down (The new Roots album is rumored to be named after his book)and was intrigued and impressed. I have marked a handful of his books as To Read, though I started with his most recent and unusually short work, about 180 pages, if you don't count the pho [...]

    26. Not much to see here, unless you go in for Hemingway fetishism, seething anger at being thought anything but righteous, and some white male domineering. He rides the rails until he needs to use a cellphone to not ride the rails anymore. Women are anecdotes of sexual desire and not much more, abstractions of possession (an ideal woman lifted from Hemingway is summed as "beautiful, promiscuous, unself-conscious and excellent at making love"). There were some beautiful descriptions of landscape, so [...]

    27. What could have be a fantastic story about the joys and hardships of train hopping; from run-ins with "Authority" to catching that perfect ride west was more a exercise in vocabulary. Introspective sections are verbose and superfluous. A well-to-do attempts to make himself one of the common folk on this search for great adventure. "Riding" is a manufactured adventure story that goes from train hopping to first class flights when impatience, unpreparedness, and lack of physical prowess interfere. [...]

    28. Is it possible Vollmann is a long lost Beatnjuring Ginsberg's stark, angelic prose exalting the eternal Other (the god's of men who are starved and naked, dwelling in tunnels, underneath bridges, in hobo jungle lairs), or walking barefoot over the Road(s) which Kerouac made his journeys of self-discovery of the ultimate freedom? Great book.

    29. Truly inspiring book about what makes a person gives up everything and get on a train. An honest and interesting document about aimless travelers who climbed on freight trains travelling to nowhere/running away from. Perfect for your 'take the backpack and run' moments.

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