Books: Mystery Tour

BLUE HIGHWAYS by William Least Heat Moon

Little Brown; 421 pages; $17.50

"In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is," wrote Gertrude Stein. "That is what makes America what it is." It is also what makes American travel writing what it is: a constantly rewarding genre in the right hands. William Least Heat Moon has great hands.

Separated from his wife and laid off as a teacher of English at a Missouri college, the young part-Sioux begins a 13,000-mile journey around the country's perimeter. In an Econoline van called Ghost Dancing, the author shuns the 42,500...

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