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The Next Better Place: A Father and Son on the Road

Keith, Michael C.

84 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1565123646 / ISBN 13: 9781565123649
Published by Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, N.C., 2003
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

First edition, stated; first printing, full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated on the title page by the author: "For John, / Wishing you the better place! / Michael C. Keith / Apr. 03." Bound in gray paper-covered boards with a blue cloth, silver-lettered spine. Book is tight, square, and unmarked; corners sharp, spine ends lightly bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $23.95); some crimping to head of spine. Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 002547

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Next Better Place: A Father and Son on ...

Publisher: Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

In 1959, at the age of eleven, Michael Keith left a relatively stable life with his mother and sisters in Albany, New York, and surreptitiously set off for California with his irresponsible alcoholic father. For the rest of Michael's childhood, the two crisscrossed America, perpetually en route to someplace else. His memoir, told in the fresh, funny, world-wise voice of the young boy he once was, describes their bizarre encounters hitchhiking the nation's highways. In the rundown rooming houses and homeless missions where they hole up as Michael's father works odd jobs to make enough money for them to move on, or in the AA meetings they attend in every city for a decent doughnut, we glimpse a different America. Pushed onward by Michael's unceasing thirst for new adventures and his father's dreams of the next better place, the careworn twosome live far outside convention.

But despite their peculiar, often dysfunctional life, there is real love between this father and son, and they share the glorious freedom of the peripatetic life. That such happiness exists in a lonely marginal universe doesn't overshadow the fact that a Greyhound bus is the closest Michael comes to experiencing the idea of home. THE NEXT BETTER PLACE explores the fine line between wanderlust and compulsion, between running away and arriving, and leaves us with the understanding that the journey is often more powerful than the destination.

From the Publisher:

"As someone who lost his father when I was 9 1/2 years old, I found Michael C. Keith's remarkable story of an irresponsible father and an 11-year-old boy both poignant and very, very real. This is a moving memoir. A life-enduring tale." (Larry King, CNN)

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