The Sojourners, Outskirts Press, an e-book copyright and written by T. L. Hughes.
Mike Hogan, after splitting with his girlfriend, decides to leave California with his long-time buddies Kansas born Luke Coppens and Ohio born Declan Brady (Decky). They spend a month driving from Huntington Beach, CA to Lowell, MA where they leave Luke’s ’64 Ford Fairlane in his parents’ driveway and embark for London to obtain jobs in the music video production business. They arrive at Heathrow Airport in late September of 1984, discover that such jobs are unattainable and begin a wandering journey through parts of Europe and beyond for Mark. They lose Decky in Amsterdam because he wants to explore his roots in Ireland. He and Luke continue on to Munchen (Munich) to experience the fun of Oktoberfest and the depression of visiting Dachau and lengthy conversations with a former member of the Nazi Party about Hitler, WW II and Apartheid. Then Luke and he part ways as Mark decides to take the train to Austria and then continue through former Yugoslavia’s Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. Here he discovers the hub of all international travelers, Syntagma Square, and visits the Pantheon, Acropolis, and Parthenon, before taking off for the islands of Ios and Santorini. His journey then takes him to Turkey and the ancient city of Ephesus before Istanbul and finally returning home with a little financial help from his family to resume with his original girlfriend and settle into a life no doubt affected to a greater or lesser extent by the trip and the diverse people, cultures and places visited.
Discussion: Fundamentally a travelogue that has been written in a memoir like manner with the wanderings through such varied cultures and variety of individual personalities encountered all of which seem eventually to have provided a serendipitous experience. If the reader enjoys rambling travelogues, the descriptions largely are accurate but minimally described and the presentation of an individual’s personal ruminations and analyses when encountering situations in differing cultures and the individuals thereof, provide some interesting features. If the reader finds these features enjoyable, this book is for you.
5* For a particular type of reader.