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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
In the Rearview Mirror by Lee W Livingston is a spellbinding memoir that will certainly rekindle nostalgia in the hearts of Americans who lived through the sixties, a tale of two eighteen-year-olds, Lee and Dango, hitchhiking around America. The two young men had been to California, working a summer job in the park, and decided on the spur of the moment to hitchhike back to Cleveland, Ohio. The hilarity of the story is as unmistakable as the daring adventures of the two, and the author allows the humor to come across through the antics, the situations they encounter along the way, and the challenges. It is interesting to follow these friends as they meet new people, discover the landscapes, and sleep by the roadside when not hopping on a freight train, and a lot more. Aside from being an endearing, impassioned narrative of the adventures of two teenagers, this memoir is a journey back into the early sixties.
Lee W Livingston crafts a memoir that captures the soul of the American people while exploring the themes of friendship, family, and adventure. Lee and Dango are best friends and they complement each other in incredible ways. The humor is terrific and it hits the reader from the very first sentence of the narrative. The author has the gift for character depiction and in spite of the fact that the two friends are different, it is hard not to like Dango—even if he is tragic. The feel of the journey comes across beautifully in the descriptive narrative. Elements of the setting like the era, cars, geography, rock 'n roll — lyrics sprinkled through the narrative — and a culture that has evolved tremendously are so ingeniously woven into the memoir. The narrator captures the hilarity of this experience when he says: “What a ride! Top down, radio up and a cold brew here and there when we could see for miles and be sure to spot the Highway Patrol.” In the Rearview Mirror is a book you won’t put down, a memoir that reads like great fiction told by a great storyteller.