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Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across…

Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time (edição: 2018)

de Andrew Forsthoefel (Autor)

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1243222,947 (4.22)1
"A memoir of one young man's coming of age on a cross-country trek, told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America"--Amazon.com.
Título:Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time
Autores:Andrew Forsthoefel (Autor)
Informação:Tantor Audio (2018)
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time de Andrew Forsthoefel


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This is a wondrous, adventurous soul-searching book, and a great read for those who suffer from Wanderlust, love the writings or Rilke & Whitman, or just seek a little affirmation that people are still basically good.

23-year-old Andrew Forsthoefel makes his way across the U.S. on foot, armed with a backpack full of provisions, an audio recorder, and a sign that reads "Walking to Listen". What he encounters over the next 4000 miles, as he treks from Pennsylvania southward and then from the Southeast to the West, is the quilted patchwork of American humanity. As he asks to pitch his tent in backyards, farmers' fields, and outbuildings, he meets curiosity, distrust, and (mostly) kindness. He faces his assumptions and stereotypes, as well as his own inner demons and doubts.

The book is broken up between his experiences as he walks, pushes a baby stroller named Bob (which he eventually breaks down and buys to tote his pack), and reflects on his experiences with the people he's met, and a series of short interviews with some of these people. These interviews serve to break up the longer chapters and focus completely on the words of his subjects, who offer stirring and often surprising wisdom, whether coming from a cattle farmer, elderly high school sweethearts, a Presbyterian minister, a bounty hunter, firefighters or artists.

A book like this, which has a potential element of gimmick to it (It's Kerouac meets "Eat. Pray. Love." in some regard), avoids such trappings by staying reflective without getting maudlin, philosophical without getting judgmental, and optimistically open to experience.

As a writer, the young Forsthoefel has great expressiveness, describing his environments, his subjects, and his conflicted emotions with observant and - at times - poetic detail. The influences of Rilke and Whitman, who both accompany him on the trip via their seminal works - are evident.

For me, this book made me believe that one can find what they look for in others, and Forsthoefel chose to find goodness at every opportunity - a meal, a conversation, a jug of water, a bag of candy bars, or a welcoming invitation into a stranger's home. Of course, by the end of the next day's breakfast, those people were no longer strangers, to Andrew or to the reader.

As a big believer in Interdependence and our desire to feel connected as human beings (hell, as earthlings), this book struck a powerful chord with me. Mostly, it taught me that everyone, no matter how horrific a card they've been dealt, or how hardened life may have made them, wants to be listened to. People have stories, and the greatest gift we can offer is to turn off our own incessant chatter and actively lean in and empathize with who they have become and how they got there.

In this regard, we are all Walking to Listen.
( )
  TommyHousworth | Feb 5, 2022 |
I'll have to give this one a solid middle-of-the-road 3 out of 5. It gave me lots to think about. But so long, and repetitive... about halfway through, I started skimming. It seemed like the same story over and over: Andrew meets rednecks who immediately insist on feeding him and making him stay the night, and how can he refuse, and he just has the most wonderful time EVER and makes lifelong friends! So I started skipping all the stories, and trying to zero in on parts that were actually about the logistics of the walk, or about his insights. I wish it had been severely edited - it's well over 300 pages. ( )
  Tytania | Aug 8, 2018 |
Andrew was 23 years old, and he wanted some answers. What does it mean to grow up? How does one go about doing that? He decided that he would walk across America, asking people about their opinions and experiences. This book is the memoir of his 4,000 mile, year-long walk, the people he spoke with, and his ideas as well as theirs.

During his trek, Andrew struggled with many emotions including fear and loneliness. He looked to his volumes of writings by Khalil Gibran, Rainer Rilke, and Walt Whitman for answers and comfort. He shared conversations and often homes and meals with complete strangers who were also willing to share their thoughts on life and what it means. He shared his thoughts and feelings as he walked historical places, like Martin Luther King Jr’s marches and the Trail of Tears that the Cherokee walked as they were forced off of their ancestral lands.

There were parts of this book which were moving and insightful, but others that were disjointed or that dragged on for far too long.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. ( )
1 vote Sandralovesbooks | Apr 24, 2017 |
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"A memoir of one young man's coming of age on a cross-country trek, told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America"--Amazon.com.

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