Lost in America by Colby Buzzell
A Dead-End Journey

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Colby Buzzell has always been a loner. An autodidact who never went to college, he was dubbed "the voice of a generation" by Robert Kurson for his daring and critically acclaimed book, My War: Killing Time in Iraq. Half a decade later, overwhelmed by the birth of his son and the death of his mother, Buzzell finds himself rudderless. Desperate to escape the constraints of his postwar existence, he packs his things, gets in the car, and, for five months, drives across America--no map, no destination.

In his 1965 Mercury Comet, Buzzell travels through the bowels of a country steeped in economic turmoil and political malaise. With a bottle of whisky in one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other, he takes us on a tour of big-box stores, grimy gas stations, abandoned warehouses, strip clubs, and flophouses. He captures the distinct voices and vivid stories of a forgotten America--Cheyenne, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Detroit, and San Francisco's Tenderloin. Buzzell unearths America's bones in all their beauty and starkness. And like the veterans of Hemingway's Lost Generation, he struggles to reconcile his wanderlust with his responsibilities as a man and a father.

Lost in America is a stunning account of the ravages of war on one individual. It also reveals deep truths about a more universal journey: the struggle to find our place in the world--without a map.

About Colby Buzzell

See more books from this Author
Colby Buzzell is the author of My War: Killing Time in Iraq and served as an infantryman in the United States Army during the Iraq War. Assigned to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in 2003, Buzzell blogged from the front lines of Iraq as a replacement for his habitual journaling back in the states. In 2004 Buzzell was profiled in Esquire’s “Best and Brightest” issue and has since contributed frequently to the magazine. The Washington Post referred to his article “Digging a Hole All the Way to America” as “A Tour de Force Travelogue,” and his article “Down & Out In Fresno and San Francisco” was selected for The Best American Travel Writing 2010. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on This American Life. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, and has no plans whatsoever of staying there.
Published August 23, 2011 by Harper. 309 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lost in America

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

On assignment from his publishers to reappraise On the Road in the age of Obama, Buzzell (My War: Killing Time in Iraq, 2005) admits that while he adored Kerouac as a teenager and has several copies of the book, including a first edition, after a tour in Iraq, he had lost his passion for it.

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Lost in America: A Dead-End J...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In his follow-up to My War: Killing Time in Iraq, Buzzell offers a bleak book, a dour and humorless account of a five-month trip through America following the spirit, if not the actual route, of Jack Kerouac's travels in On the Road.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Lost in America: A Dead-End J...

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

But alas, no go.For example, when Mr. Buzzell writes about the early passages of his mother’s journey into illness and into America’s much headlined and much criticized healthcare system, he ignores a useful hook on which to hang a book of this nature.For all his booze-soaked pseudo attitude—as i...

Aug 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Lost in America: A Dead-End J...

Reader Rating for Lost in America

An aggregated and normalized score based on 65 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review