THE BIG ROAD by Tom E. Clarke
Kirkus Star


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The story is random, it simply follows 17-year-old Vic Martin's ramblings at a time of his life when he felt that he had to get away from his home. The distinguishing aspect is the year in which this story takes place -- 1933, the midst of the Depression. The author states that the book is based almost entirely on his own experiences, and he has done an excellent job of recreating not the newsworthy events of the time but a sense of the dreariness that was so widespread and, as welL, the companionship through adversity. After a hopeless attempt to find work, join the Navy or the CCC, he simply went in with a group of boys who had become hobos, traveling across country by hitching onto boxcars. For a while he had a job doing chores on a squalid farm, but for the most part, until he became resigned to returning to his clearly unappealing home, he simply took the opportunity to see a good deal of the country for himself. The narrative is not impassioned -- the incidents, pathetic, decadent, touching, speak for themselves.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1965
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard