Slowspoke: A Unicyclist's Guide to America, makes a surprising connection between unicycle travel--the balance, the hesitancy, the roundabout progress--and a life lived close to the land, next to an endangered woods. The adventures of the author's youth are recalled when he encounters the emotional equivalent of a tractor-trailer gust: the news that the beloved old woods near his house is about to be logged and developed. He begins an effort to save the woods. The narrative alternates between past and present, dream and reality, as he looks with a fresh gaze at his Kentucky home, with the precise love of someone slated to give a eulogy.
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With a gentle, meandering style that evokes the twists, turns and backtracking of unicycling, the memoir captures Schimmoeller's perceptive observations of a largely unseen, back-roads America... In some ways, it also transcends personal history, like a modern-day Pilgrim's Progress: one man, alone on a road, seeking redemption and ultimately finding it.
Not just for unicyclists, Schimmoeller's memoir is beautifully written and often funny; a real find. --Kirkus Reviews
"This is just the kind of epic we need right now--humble, sweet, and very deep indeed. As good a travel story--within and without--as you'll read anytime soon!" --Bill McKibben, author of New York Times bestseller Eaarth
"In the quest for growth, we have come to undermine the very meaning of life. Someone needs to point a new way. People like Mark Schimmoeller do that for us. Slowspoke: A Unicyclist's Guide to America is as wise as it is entertaining."--Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man.
"This is a beautiful book...In these pages, lines, and gorgeous human moments, we are transported to what the future must include."--Nikky Finney, author of Head Off & Split, 2011 National Book Award winner
Sumptuous language and a disarming gentleness propel this profoundly simple, funny, and sincere memoir... "It doesn't make a difference one way or the other if I take a break," he tells a stranger who questions the intensely slow pace of his mode of transport--an explanation that speaks to the author's quest to find respite in a troubled world.
--Publishers' Weekly, starred review
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