- By Wayne Grady Merilyn Simonds

Breakfast at the Exit Cafe

  • Title: Breakfast at the Exit Cafe
  • Author: Wayne Grady Merilyn Simonds
  • ISBN: 9781553655220
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Breakfast at the Exit Cafe Breakfast at the Exit Caf begins as a personal story told in alternating voices by two travellers and writers of a journey by car from British Columbia around the rim of the United States It soon beco

    Breakfast at the Exit Caf begins as a personal story told in alternating voices by two travellers and writers of a journey by car from British Columbia around the rim of the United States It soon becomes a journey of exploration For Grady, whose forebears were slaves who came to Canada in the 1880s, this is a journey through fear, racism, and violence into his own familBreakfast at the Exit Caf begins as a personal story told in alternating voices by two travellers and writers of a journey by car from British Columbia around the rim of the United States It soon becomes a journey of exploration For Grady, whose forebears were slaves who came to Canada in the 1880s, this is a journey through fear, racism, and violence into his own family roots For Simonds, who grew up a lonely Canadian in the American School of Campinas, Brazil, it is a journey into the heart of the ex pat promised land, the nation of the American Dream As Grady and Simonds travel back through American history, they encounter the splendours of the Mojave Desert, the Grand Canyon, the Mississippi River, and the bayous of Louisiana and the Outer Banks, and they experience the impact of geography on culture and of culture on the landscape Although they are observing America from the outside, they also strangely feel at home The Americans they meet illuminate a country dissolving in the grip of the Bush administration s final years and inspire them to reassess their and our assumptions about that powerful and complex country Also available in paperback.

    1 thought on “Breakfast at the Exit Cafe

    1. A travel story taken by Canadian husband and wife writers, each with their own running commentary of their travels and experiences where they start in Vancouver BC, head south along the West Coast and then east into mountains, and then the desert and further south into Texas. Trapsing into the South and slowly winding back North to Canada over a two month period with their little Echo. Curiosity is interesting idea dealt with the end of how we differ in the what we (Canadians) deem the meaning t [...]

    2. If you're planning a road trip in the States this is a great read. If you're not planning to go there anytime soon, this is a great substitute for a road trip. All the background info, history, insights and observations without the discomfort. If you're American and voted for George W, this isprobably not for you.

    3. I liked this informative unusual book. The couple was a bit twee at times with their duck pate' and special red plates, but likable and kind also. My problem was with Merilyn comparing her husband's background to Obama's. No one would look at her husband and think black, and no one would look at Obama and think white. I learned some things about this country from these thoughtful Canadians.

    4. Anybook that mentions One Square Inch of Silence in my opinion has to be a good book!Likewise with thoughts of Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, the Grand Canyon, The Redwoods.ough great travels it does seem like many miles of pavement with a rushed timeline.

    5. I enjoyed this because I generally like travel books. There was a slight hint of the favourite Canadian pastime of anti-Americanism, running through the book but nothing too bad.

    6. Breakfast at the Exit Cafe is a spontaneous peek into the active minds of two curious Canadian writers as they trace a smile through the mass of contiguous America. Both Wayne Grady and Merilyn Simonds are naturalists, mythologists, historians, and foodies. They imbue their intertwining passages with advice, humility, and joyful little jabs at each other. It’s a rhythmic exercise reading back and forth between Wayne’s and Merilyn’s parts – you will recognize a conflicting, yet wholly har [...]

    7. Nice title and it was probably a great adventure but there was so much rambling that I lost sight of the scenery.

    8. What a strange, strange book. This read to me as "we took a poorly planned road trip, then decided to apply for a grant to write a book about it". They do little worth writing about, miss out on almost everything they hoped to see, and dwell on tiny experiences, magnifying them beyond what they signify. At least 50% of the book is extensive quotations or summaries of observations of the U.S. from better, more perceptive writers. (This was the meat of the book and what made it worth reading - the [...]

    9. Other than a few factual errors for the Texas portion of this book (I can't speak to the validity of the facts for the other regions covered) I found this an entertaining read. I was a little put off by the oversimplification of the treatment of race relations in the south. To read Mr. Grady you would believe that a trip to Selma, Alabama or Jacksonville, Mississippi would have you returning to the 1950's. Certainly racism still exists in this region, but not to the extent implied in this readin [...]

    10. I quickly grew to dislike these 2 Canadians, who crossed the border with a fat chunk of disdain for America and the people who live here, and proceeded to drive across the country with no plan other than to avoid being with other people at all costs. You know what you find when you go out of your way to avoid large centers of population? You find the rest of the population, who is also trying to avoid people. That portion of the population is often cranky and unfriendly. 75% of this book seems t [...]

    11. This is an interesting look at America in the early 21st century. The husband and wife Canadian authors leave British Columbia in mid-December 2006 and drive down the west coast, across the American southwest and the south, then up the east coast of America to arrive home in eastern Ontario two months later. They encounter quite a bit of bad weather and (of course) some quirky characters and places. I enjoyed their commentary on the state of America at that particular point in time. As the book [...]

    12. Wayne Grady (a writer whose work I was familiar with) and his wife, Merilyn Simonds (a writer whose work I will make a note to investigate) decide to make a trip in late December of 2006, from Vancouver where Merilyn has been writer-in-residence at UBC, down through the States and back to their home in southeastern Ontario.Each of the writers (taking turn and turn about along the route) has a unique voice, but both write well and engagingly.They have chosen to cross the continent across the sout [...]

    13. Unusual in that this on the road book talks in two voices--a married couple of well-known Canadian writers traveling by less-traveled routes from Vancouver down to California and then west till they reach the southeastern coast, then north till they reach Canada.They talk about how the US differs from Canada, in the attitudes of the people. It is hard not to empathize with them, when either of them has disparaging things to say about the country, having lived in the US and now in Canada for umpt [...]

    14. Husband and wife leave Vancouver just before Christmas in a small car and go home to eastern Ontario " the long way", via California and the US. Both are writers. They are empty-nesters too. They take turns narrating their journey. Their affection for each other as a long- married couple shines through in their accounts of the others' sayings and reactions to life and events on the road. The problem is that they took their notes, got a Canada Council grant and retired to a writers' workshop to w [...]

    15. This is an interesting way to write a "road trip" book. The trip through the Southern U.S. with it's historical references and comparisons, along with the double voice, makes an interesting book. I have been to Vicksburg. The rows upon rows of graves had a big impact on me. All those young people who never got to live their lives. They did not go to Memphis, but a trip to the Civil Rights Museum there was the most important stop on a trip through the U.S. in better weather I might add. As a whit [...]

    16. I may not agree with Merilyn’s final perspective on Americans, defining what American curiosity is, but still a fantastic read. Through factoids, observations, cultural and historical lessons we experience their road trip across America. I loved that I could put the book down and Google any of their stays and historical facts, delving deeper than the book’s written word. Perhaps a bit heavy on American stereotypes, but polite and even-toned about it. A delightful read with ample rhetoric on [...]

    17. I really enjoyed this book written by Wayne Grady and Merilyn Simonds.wayne and marilyn are a married couple from Canada who travel for two months in the USA. They travel down the pacific coast thru Washington and Oregon crossing the Great Desert to the south and back up thru the Shenandoah valley to return to their home in Ontario.Wayne and Merilyn took turns writing and it was almost seamless.There was a lot of history covered as they traveled and bird watching and today observations of our la [...]

    18. An interesting journey around the U.S especially since it is written by 2 Canadians so has that perspective. I also liked the way they divided up their writing--when it was Wayne's turn, the first paragraph started with "W" and when it was Merilyn's, it was an "M". Maybe a bit too much didactic information about American history in places, but descriptions of people and places were vivid and there was humour too. The writers also were not afraid to describe their own human weaknesses which made [...]

    19. I really liked the book and the way both authors shared their Canadian viewpoints. I was however frustrated at the way the book ended. I can understand that they probably were tired from their long Roadtrip.but the ending did not match the rest of the story. It seemed like they were in a hurry and the story just ended!

    20. I really liked this book. It is one of the books that leads you to so many others. I had to keep a pen and notebook handy to write down all the books they reference. John Steinbeck is high on the list. Travels with Charlie (never read), Grapes of Wrath (read in highschool which means not much now!).

    21. This is an illuminating book because it is authored by two Canadians driving the long way home through the United States. It is interesting to see the US through foreign eyes that are not too foreign.

    22. Entertaining writing, but I wouldn't take travel advise from anyone showing up at El Tovar at the Grand Canyon on Christmas day without a reservation. Walking in the door "hoping" there's a cancellation on one the busiest days of the year is simply foolish.

    23. A really interesting and informative book written by a married couple, both writers, as they travel from Vancouver, across the US, back to their home in Ontario. I loved reading about places that I have visited, and really enjoyed the interesting history bits thrown in along the way.

    24. A very thought provoking travel book. I enjoyed it immensely. It is written in turn by a husband and wife team.

    25. A great twist having two story tellers merge the tale together. You get a great sense of where they are coming from and their insights on their travels. A great read!

    26. A great book to read while you're road-tripping around the U.S particularly as a Canadian. There are some great insights and thoughts on the differences between our two countries.

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