The Land of Confusion: An Autopsy of the American Dream is Blair Bourassa’s third book in the “Roadwork” series. This time the author recounts his surreal tour of the United States, where he travelled for half a year without spending a dollar on accommodation.
The writer’s style is humorous and irreverent, presenting an ambitious overview of the diversity that is the core of American culture. On the road, he encounters adult entertainers, fundamentalist Christians, political pundits, television personalities, famous writers, Cuban exiles and Vedic yogis. He also visits military bases, homeless shelters, maximum security prisons, UFO conferences, and four different locations where nuclear weapons have been dropped on the United States national territory.
The narrative is laced with informative digressions on topics like U.S. health care, illegal immigration and mass media, while also being packed with interesting observations about American history. The author contrasts what was with what is, and what is believed with what is true, bringing a fresh and unique perspective to modern Americana. Insightful appendices on the country’s religion, sexuality, military interventions, and conspiracy theories are included for easy reference.
This book is a must-read for all those who enjoy offbeat travel writing. It fits well into the U.S. roadtrip genre of Steinbeck and Kerouac, while the Canadian viewpoint of its author should ensure its appeal to an international audience.
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