A second helping of gonzo wanderlust from Nightingale (Lost Coast, 1996), who picks up pretty much where he left off and keeps pushing along the same road. Though much of the story here revolves around events that transpired in that earlier book, Nightingale's plotline is so loose that a knowledge of Lost Coast isn't necessary. Cookie, the fry-cook cowgirl, still mourning her murdered husband Juha, sets out to avenge his death by tracking down the killers (demented teenagers Tabby and Grimes). She's assisted in her quest by an exotic group of friends, including Chiara the mathematician, Renato the painter, Muscocvado the journalist, Ananda the lawyer, and a few extras the group (literally) picks up along the way, such as a blind poet named Homer and a lovelorn prophet called Saint Francis of Assisi. Apart from their desire to see justice done, the little crowd has one overriding goal: to find their way to the Lost Coast, a stretch of wilderness coastline in northern California. As before, they make their journey at a leisurely pace in a caravan of dilapidated cars and trucks, and like all good pilgrims, they amuse themselves by telling tales along the way, such as ``The Story of the Joke in the Middle of the World'' or ``The Story of the Machine That Makes Paradise.'' Nightingale wraps everything up in rollicking baroque prose (``He wanted to taste Izzy so long and deep that he could run his tongue along the edge of the girl's soul; and sure enough, before long her body was like a Caribbean meadow full of flowers that opened in the sunlight of their lovemaking'') that goes well beyond the confines of literate good taste--and fits the contours of the story like a tailored suit. The ending is upbeat and triumphant, and brings down the curtain on just the right note. A splendid, good-natured romp along the backroads of the soul.