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Riding Toward Everywhere by William T. Vollmann
Riding Toward Everywhere is William T. Vollmann's account of riding the rails by train-hopping across the West. He really didn't have a purpose other than to explore the lifestyle and experience its reality. With the help of Steve, he learns not just how to climb on and off the trains, but to lie in wait for the train and evade the railroad bulls who patrol the railroads. He encounters hobo camps and learns of the dangers involved from gangs who prey on them. He also gets to enjoy the scenery of rides through the countryside without a planned destination. Riding Toward Everywhere has received mixed reviews with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch saying, "In the end, the book is worth reading because Vollmann is such a superb writer and because, in an age of irony, he is not afraid to speak with passionate intensity of the things that matter to him most."