how a quest should be done...Herzog's stitching is so good, so
seamless — he follows Odysseus' story until it becomes his own."
-- Los Angeles Times
are emerging as the new classics of American travel writing."
-- American Book Review
Bill Bryson meets Zen and the Art
of Motorcycle Maintenance, an intimate, epic, and offbeat
journey in search of the heroic ideal…
“Go away. Figure it out,” she was saying. “Don’t come back
until you do.” She looked at the calendar. “You have thirty-one
With these words, like Helen of Troy launching a thousand ships
across the Aegean, Brad Herzog’s wife launched a single
Winnebago Aspect onto the open road. A modern-day Odysseus in
Kerouac clothing, Brad Herzog plunges into a solo cross-country
adventure in search of insight. With middle age bearing down on
him and another college reunion fast approaching, he takes
stock: How has he measured up to his own youthful aspirations?
In contemporary America, what is a life well lived? What is a
From the foothills of Washington’s Mount Olympus, through the
forgotten corners of America, and finally to his alma mater in
Ithaca (New York), Brad shares this personal odyssey of a
lifetime. Stopping in classically named towns, he delves into
the lives of everyday heroes, including a teacher in a one-room
rural schoolhouse in Troy (Oregon), a bomb-diffusing soldier in
Sparta (Wisconsin), and a woman in the Endless Mountains of
Pennsylvania who survived childhood trauma but maintains a hold
on more than a dozen distinct personalities.
These encounters and Brad’s effortlessly infused musings on
Homer, Joseph Campbell, and Lewis and Clark create the perfect
balance of past lessons and present epiphanies. Like Odysseus,
Brad returns to the arms of his loved ones with many hard-earned
answers. TURN LEFT AT THE TROJAN HORSE: A Would-be Hero’s
American Odyssey is a historical, philosophical and
conversational trek across America and through the universal
truths of mythography. However, in the end it is simply the
story of one man trying to find his way.