Only a few pages in, I’m very much enjoying this novel (ahem) take on the Lewis & Clark expedition.

The author has based his narrative on the letters and journals written by the explorers before, during and after their famous voyage, but uses a cynic’s eye to read between the familiar lines. Cross-outs and margin notes, combined with the writer’s fertile imagination create psychological depth to men immortalised as heroes, which creates conflicts resulting from self-serving motives and the hurt feelings that result as they must also deal with the enormous physical challenges inherent in a grand journey.

It’s particularly enjoyable to anyone already immersed in Lewis & Clark lore, as the source material should be appreciated before it gets tainted with petty innuendo. It’s nice to know the idea of friendships straining over the course of a difficult roadtrip is more timeless than car trips and fights over who chooses the music.

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