Thursday, August 14, 2008

Through Painted Deserts

As promised in an earlier post, here is my review of "Through Painted Deserts" by Donald Miller. My brother mailed it to me along with a few other things. I picked it up and begin to read the back cover. It read, "a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagon camping van..." I was sold from that sentence alone.
The basic story is two men who meet each other in Houston and decide to do take a road trip. As these ideas usually go, it began with a group of friends who wanted to see the country but as plans became more concrete they began to drop out one by one. Why is it that this happens so much in life? It seems that everyone wants to believe in a nice idea but quickly drop off once the dream threatens to become reality.
The two men are Don and Paul. Don is the author and is from Houston. Paul is his travelling companion and grew up in Oregon. They set out with the general idea that they will end up in Oregon. There are some great quotes about Texas in the book like, "I don't mean any disrespect. I truly don't. But Texas isn't nature. Texas is city and smog and humidity and heat. If you want to hunt and fish, that's fine, but if you want to climb and kayak and all, no luck."
The writing is very personal and describes Don's journey across the country and his developing friendship with Paul. I won't spoil the book but the last chapter is one of my favorites and really made the book for me. Its possible that I rate this book very high because the whole way through it all I could think about is how badly I want to take a roadtrip as well.
It is light reading and a good book overall. Check it out if you have the chance.
Some other quotes That I really like:
"The greatest desire of man is to be known and loved anyway."
~ Donald Miller, Searching For God Knows What
Okay, so that quote isn't from Through Painted Deserts but it is by the same author and I really like it. The following are actually quotes from the book:
"Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons."
"I told her of the need to travel, to gain memories, and to be, for a while, completely free."
"When with certain people, one is confronted with the notion that life may be much easier than the rest of us believe it is, that most of the things we worry about are not worth worrying about."