Saturday, 2 March 2013

Billy Connolly's Route 66

I am conscious that my reading tastes have become limited so I deliberately avoided the fantasy and Science fiction shelf on my last visit to the lending library and picked up this road trip account by a Scottish comedian instead. Connolly is a very funny man on stage so it was surprising to find that the book is rarely laugh out loud funny. It is really just a personal account of his trip along this once great but now sadly decaying road. The book is all about the characters he meets along the way such as the Amish craftsman who seems to have discovered the secret to a happy life. The book is a lightweight but enjoyable read. One of the most striking themes is the conflict between Connolly's genuine respect for the down to earth people he meets and his utter loathing of their middle American conservativism. He is literally incoherent at times, resorting to babble to describe some of the examples of conservatism he comes across. Yet he consciously avoids poking fun at people even where he vehemently disagrees with their views. This makes it quite a gentle book for a comedian to write. 

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