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Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train: A Memoir of Beauty and Freedom on the Rails

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This is a self-published ebook novella from 2013 that was pulled from the internet by the author after a few months of existence; this novella has since been re-written and expanded into a full length memoir, The Sunset Route, that will be published July of 2021.


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This is a self-published ebook novella from 2013 that was pulled from the internet by the author after a few months of existence; this novella has since been re-written and expanded into a full length memoir, The Sunset Route, that will be published July of 2021.

30 review for Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train: A Memoir of Beauty and Freedom on the Rails

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suniru

    This is a tight little memoir.. a rare combination of interesting subject matter and voice. I really enjoyed the details and the author’s writing style. The book describes several train rides she took across the US hidden in freight cars. Who knew people still did that? Carrot Quinn lives an alternate lifestyle… off the grid, fringe. She lets us just deep enough into her world to get a sense of the basics, yet we get a real sense of her. I appreciated that the writing held the same tone throughou This is a tight little memoir.. a rare combination of interesting subject matter and voice. I really enjoyed the details and the author’s writing style. The book describes several train rides she took across the US hidden in freight cars. Who knew people still did that? Carrot Quinn lives an alternate lifestyle… off the grid, fringe. She lets us just deep enough into her world to get a sense of the basics, yet we get a real sense of her. I appreciated that the writing held the same tone throughout. There are lots of opportunities given the focus of the book and the Quinn’s lifestyle to shock the reader… but she doesn’t go there. Strangely, a reason I like the book so much is based on what it’s not. It’s not a “how-to” manual and not a boastful ode to thrill seeking. . It’s an adventure story full of quirky characters and in the end (without giving the ending away!) the author “comes home”.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    The gauge of good adventure literature is how deep the story injects its readers into the adventure. Does the story hold its readers at the periphery, offering only wide-angle views of a bewildering canyon? Does it place them in an accompanying boat on a river, where they can feel the water carry them toward an intriguing horizon? Or does it lash the reader and author together in open-eyed exhilaration as they plunge into the roiling rapids of the unknown? Carrot Quinn’s small but lyrically robu The gauge of good adventure literature is how deep the story injects its readers into the adventure. Does the story hold its readers at the periphery, offering only wide-angle views of a bewildering canyon? Does it place them in an accompanying boat on a river, where they can feel the water carry them toward an intriguing horizon? Or does it lash the reader and author together in open-eyed exhilaration as they plunge into the roiling rapids of the unknown? Carrot Quinn’s small but lyrically robust memoir, “Ten Thousand Miles By Freight Train: A Memoir of Beauty and Freedom on the Rails,” is one of those rare pieces of nonfiction adventure literature in the latter category, pulling its readers deep into the unique and fascinating world of the freight train stowaway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    nks

    Three times a charm. And how. My third e-book reading experiment was to read Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train by Carrot Quinn who I'd known through her blog and mutual friends for years, but have never met. She's an excellent writer of the Annie Dillard school, and her prose has come a long way since she first started telling her train hopping tales on the internets. Her recent post about How to Be Poor is the most wonderful thing I've read on the subject in a long, long time. (Maybe ever? M Three times a charm. And how. My third e-book reading experiment was to read Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train by Carrot Quinn who I'd known through her blog and mutual friends for years, but have never met. She's an excellent writer of the Annie Dillard school, and her prose has come a long way since she first started telling her train hopping tales on the internets. Her recent post about How to Be Poor is the most wonderful thing I've read on the subject in a long, long time. (Maybe ever? My memory is not whole enough to say for sure. If you are thinking about quitting your job, this is on the syllabus.) The main downside to e-booking so far, has come at review time. I enjoy reading on my phone. I enjoy the convenience of always having a couple of books with me, but I haven't gotten the hang of marking passages yet. This, in combination with the format, means that, come review time, I can't sit down to thumb through it again, letting my eyes find passages of interest a second time, helping me sum up the experience in words. Scrolling just doesn't do it for me, and my eyes are less likely to stick somewhere relevant on a screen. But! The find feature! Because of the find feature I can share my favorite metaphor—and Carrot is quite good with metaphors—in the entire book, can give you a tasty little morsel to get you ready for a delectable meal. Carrot is describing hitch hiking, and the way that the people who pick you up tend to spill their life stories. Why do they do this? "Talking to you is like stuffing a note into a bottle and tossing it into the sea." Brilliant.

  4. 5 out of 5

    LaVonne Ellis

    I downloaded the free sample chapters of this book because I'm planning my own trek around North America in a few months (by van, not freight train). I thought I was getting a poorly written but possibly useful memoir of an old hobo. Wrong! After reading the first page, I went straight to the back of the sample and clicked the Buy link. This girl can WRITE. The book could have used an editor to help shape it a bit. For instance, it isn't clear when the story takes place until Quinn mentions Mich I downloaded the free sample chapters of this book because I'm planning my own trek around North America in a few months (by van, not freight train). I thought I was getting a poorly written but possibly useful memoir of an old hobo. Wrong! After reading the first page, I went straight to the back of the sample and clicked the Buy link. This girl can WRITE. The book could have used an editor to help shape it a bit. For instance, it isn't clear when the story takes place until Quinn mentions Michelle and Barack Obama out of the blue, more than halfway through. I thought the author/narrator was male until several pages in. The story gets a little hurried toward the end, as if she was getting tired and just wanted to finish. There were some typos toward the end too, unlike the first two-thirds of the book. But these are minor quibbles. Carrot Quinn has the makings of a major author. I feel privileged to have discovered her so early in her career.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    This is a well-written and short (novella-length) memoir of riding freight trains around the United States. If you liked the Crimethinc books Evasion and Off the Map, you'll probably like this; it fits into a similar subcultural space, of young wandering punk-rock anarchist-type enjoying rambling travel adventures. But this book is light on the politics and has a more introspective feel, kind of like it was assembled from multiple issues of a personal zine. There were times when I was irritated This is a well-written and short (novella-length) memoir of riding freight trains around the United States. If you liked the Crimethinc books Evasion and Off the Map, you'll probably like this; it fits into a similar subcultural space, of young wandering punk-rock anarchist-type enjoying rambling travel adventures. But this book is light on the politics and has a more introspective feel, kind of like it was assembled from multiple issues of a personal zine. There were times when I was irritated with the lack of planning and foresight on the part of the author, but there's an honesty and sincerity to her writing that was really refreshing for this kind of narrative. While this isn't light escapism (there are some dark sections of the story), it's a quick read, and the ending is filled with some beautiful emotional phrasing that left me wanting more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Very enjoyable, even captivating tales of adventures riding the rails and thumbing. I've never traveled that way myself, though heard stories of how it was commonplace in the Great Depression, but very dangerous. The prose in this book was wonderful, better in places that a lot of highbrow literature I've read. Very enjoyable, even captivating tales of adventures riding the rails and thumbing. I've never traveled that way myself, though heard stories of how it was commonplace in the Great Depression, but very dangerous. The prose in this book was wonderful, better in places that a lot of highbrow literature I've read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Les

    This is more a stream of consciousness than a story. It follows a timeline and has events that are described in chronological order, but these things are overwhelmed by the rich descriptions of the author. Its as if someone were trying to use words to describe a painting by van Gogh or Monet an succeeded!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alli

    I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be written a little unevenly but I would still recommend it. It falls into a genre (women's adventure memoirs) that I read a lot of but this one is really set apart. It was refreshing to read such a unique story. I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be written a little unevenly but I would still recommend it. It falls into a genre (women's adventure memoirs) that I read a lot of but this one is really set apart. It was refreshing to read such a unique story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    This book reads as if it were written by a GPS car navigation system or Siri. It’s full of directions about which train to jump to get to places like Chicago, but has virtually nothing one might consider character development, description or motivation. Locations (abandoned hobo camps, stopovers at non-traveler homes, etc.) are fleshed out a bit better. The book could have been so much richer. And then there are the grammar slips which really annoy me when I’m reading. Perhaps it was a glitch wh This book reads as if it were written by a GPS car navigation system or Siri. It’s full of directions about which train to jump to get to places like Chicago, but has virtually nothing one might consider character development, description or motivation. Locations (abandoned hobo camps, stopovers at non-traveler homes, etc.) are fleshed out a bit better. The book could have been so much richer. And then there are the grammar slips which really annoy me when I’m reading. Perhaps it was a glitch when the book was digitized for Kindle? At any rate, because of the chopped and empty style I am left wondering where the heck was the author’s editor?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    kindle 70 pages (travel stories)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd Fassett

    5/6/14 I'm reading her blog about thru hiking the pct 5/6/14 I'm reading her blog about thru hiking the pct

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    really enjoyed this book. Makes you realize that some people do things the hard way.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    I enjoyed the writing style employed by this woman who has chosen an itinerant lifestyle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathanj

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan Clay

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cori

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mallory Brown

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheri Mobley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura Smith

  21. 5 out of 5

    Al Smith

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Winner

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauralbi4

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence Furan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jimschow1

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shari Kohut

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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