Celebrated travel writer, Paul Theroux, takes us on his journey across America by car, a dream he’s nurtured since high school. His journey took him from the bustling freeways of Los Angeles through the stark landscape of the Mojave Desert, the vibrant lights of Las Vegas, and the beautiful wilderness of Arizona, to the pastoral beauty of Oklahoma. He met with local people, absorbed the scenery, and was reminded that as a country, America is restless, defined by movement and exploration.
- Theroux’s dream to drive across the United States was inspired by the writings of Kerouac and Steinbeck. He set off from Los Angeles, through the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas, Arizona, and finally to Oklahoma.
- Along the way, Theroux captured the diverse landscapes of America, from the stark deserts to vibrant cities and tranquil forests. He appreciated the freedom offered by the open road and was constantly reminded of the restless spirit of America.
- He interacted with a variety of people during his travels, from truckers lamenting about the price of fuel to retired farmers in New Mexico, each lending their unique perspectives about life in America.
- Despite the vast emptiness of some places, Theroux noticed the prominence of billboards and advertisements, a stark contrast to the natural surroundings and a testament to America’s relentless consumer culture.
- Theroux described Las Vegas as a representation of American childish fantasies—easy money, entertainment, and self-indulgence, and noted its capacity to continually expand into the surrounding desert as long as resources allow.