SHAKING THE NICKEL BUSH by Ralph Moody

SHAKING THE NICKEL BUSH

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

If the era of arkington and Frank Harris had ever given birth to a Beat Generation, something very like Ralph Moody's memoir might have been the by-product. The certainly aren't hip (deader's a dodo, shilly shally, huffy) nor are the travels or travellers (not a or junkle in sight), but the emotional route's the same rambling, one of Kero- or almost. Anyway in 1918-19 Moody was so thin his clothes looked ""as if they were hung on a fence""; comes the family doc visit and he has diabetes; back West he goes to his early campfire days, even tries trick riding as a Hollywood dude. Then he meets returning vet Lonnie, ""friendly as the dickens"", a good forager, and wholesome moron; with an old flivver of a Ford they cavort cross country, calling the rattletrap Shiftless, a possible symbolism. They get to know pawnshops, frying pans; share Xmas Eve under the stars; Lonnie swipes horses, hens, women; Moody makes profitable busts of bankers, likening them to Wm. S. Hart, Francis X. . Through a misunderstanding these staggering adventures end: Lonnie hops off with beloved Shiftless taking by mistake his buddy's jeans with 700 smackers sewed in. But Moody knows they'll meet again; besides, he's got his health back. Warm, funny, touching, pleasant, and pointless- on-the-road Americana, chock-full of charm.

ISBN: 0803282184
Publisher: Norton