Carla King
American Borders
Book Review by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

Searching for information about a motorcycle film festival in Los Angeles I stumbled across this book. Having gone coast to coast on an unlikely motorcycle myself (1982 Honda XL125) and penned a book about the journey as well, I became quite intrigued with Miss King's book.

In a nutshell, enjoyable. Unsurprisingly we both reference Pursig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," we both graciously represent happenstance meetings with warm (and not so warm) interesting people that pop up along the way, and we both contemplate how these such "life on pause" adventures effect the way we "return" to our "real lives."

But Carla has an even more beautiful treasure to share. Her grandparents had traversed the country in a Model T Ford back in 1927. It gets better -- they kept journals -- and Carla weaves comments from those journals into her own work. This gives the book an ancestral anchor, if you will. Carla also includes photos of some of the North American "characters" she encountered along the way.

I especially enjoyed the trouble-shooting -- most of it mechanical -- as she was essentially test-riding this Russian sidecar import for a new company. But, some of the trouble shooting was social and emotional. This is the stuff to which we can all relate. Even though we might make drastically different choices, we all must troubleshoot our own lives, heart, soul, mind and our own misadventures.

Those who are familiar with travel in these States and Canada (and Mexican border towns) will appreciate "American Borders'" respective references, those who know how to tune a carb will appreciate the mechanical speak, but even those who don't know a piston from a clutch plate will still enjoy the ride. As with Pursig's and mine, these books aren't so much about motorcycle maintenance as they are about the human journey.

"The only way he could stop me from going alone, I told him, was by going with me."

"That's often the way it is when you travel. One minute you are incredibly content, then the next, lonely or uncomfortable."

Read more Book Reviews by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 09-Oct-2012 10:01:04 PDT