Off the Leash: Subversive Journeys Around Vermont

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9780881504279: Off the Leash: Subversive Journeys Around Vermont

A grand tour of some of Vermont's most interesting and undervalued places, this guide ranges from the Domestic Resurrection Circus performed by giant puppets in Glover, to the Dowser's Labyrinth in Danville, to the birthplace of Joseph Smith, one of the founders of the Mormon Church, in Sharon. Vermont is full of quirky places and colourful history, and "Off the Leash" goes beyond the world of tourism to explore "the richness of life and the treasures in it, and how we lose these things in a world that seems to be mostly about speed and cash". It is a guide that should interest anyone with a taste for eccentric stories, for small-town dramas, for the way our places make us who we are.

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About the Author:

Helen Husher's stories and articles have appeared in the Boston Phoenix, the Randolph Herald, and other publications. In 1994 she was one of three finalists in the Anvil Press International Three-Day Novel Writing Contest for Synesthesia, a comic tale about the dangers of stray electricity. She lives in Randolph, Vermont.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A satisfying book of travel throughout the Green Mountain State, mixing guidebook and essay. Husher, a New England journalist and writer, knows her home state well. Her intention in this subversive booksubversive because, she says, it centers on things overlooked and perhaps undervalued because they do not fit comfortably into the larger frameis to take her readers into little-known corners of the state, far from the usual tourist itineraries. In this she succeeds admirably, visiting places such as Barre, the center of a surprisingly active radical politics in the early years of this century; Randolph, where the fortunate Justin Morgan developed the hard-working breed of horse that bears his name; and Lake Champlain, where, locals say, there lives a weird serpent to rival Scotlands Loch Ness monster. Along the way she points out good rest stops, ice-cream parlors, coffeehouses, country churches, statues, and gardens, studding her little essays with anecdote, reminiscence, and tidbits of local history. Husher, in the manner of an on-the-bus tour guide, sometimes tries a little too hard to be chatty and funny, dishing up groan-inducing lines like The only trouble with cemeteries is that the people in them are all dead. But shes pleasantly self-effacing, and she knows her stuff; for one thing, her quick take on the history of a New England literary genre, the Indian Captivity narrative, is a real gem. These essays may persuade you to make an inexpensive but satisfying junket to Vermont, or they may persuade you there is no wonder greater than the one of being exactly, precisely where you are. Hushers entertaining, well-written book is likely to inspire more than one vacation to retrace her steps, and armchair travelers will enjoy it as well. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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