Book Corner 2021.50

by Sebastian Junger

The author treks west across Pennsylvania with a group of other former combat veterans, following railroad tracks, secretly camping wherever looks safe, and eating big diner breakfasts and dinners. Why? Not clear. We find out way near the end that Junger is going through a divorce, which may be relevant.

I did not realize that it is illegal to walk along railroad tracks, thus “trespassing on railroad property.” I certainly didn’t realize that it’s as illegal as it is in this book. The group of hikers is constantly dodging into the woods, wondering if distant sirens are for them, wondering if someone who said hi is going to turn them in.

But precious little of the book is about hiking, camping, roughing it right in the middle of civilization, or our narrator’s journey. It’s digression, digression, digression. Ireland, Native Americans, Eurasian nomads. The overarching theme is not freedom, but fighting. All the digressions were about warriors, basically. Not interesting to me. Not the book I thought I was going to read.

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