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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (265 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Least Heat-Moon Narrator: Sherman Howar Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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About a quarter of a century ago, a previously unknown wanderer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. As critics and readers around the nation discovered, he was a chronicler of rare linguistic genius and empathy, a listener who knew that the small places can offer the biggest surprises, and who understood that alongside every road, large, small, and eternal, laughter and mortality are neighbors. Heat-Moon, wrote one reader, was a travel writer as Faulkner was a county historian.

Now, for the first time since Blue Highways, Heat-Moon returns to the back roads, in search this time around of what he calls “quoz,” things strange, incongruous, or peculiar. Quoz can be history and heredity; stories, retold or invented; strange characters with poignant dreams. It’s places with names like Humansville, Missouri, Kentucky’s Sublimity City, and Dull Center, Wyoming; unresolved crimes, violent and rippling; an elderly couple selling mayhaw jelly from a home hidden in the woods; schemers and inventors and those missing a tooth or two; and the mysterious Quapaw Ghost Light of Oklahoma. We travel across New Mexico deserts, into a Florida swamp, on to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and down an abandoned railroad in Idaho into a western café serving pickle pie, always looking for those crooked paths of a quoz leading upward toward connections with things beyond self. And since companionship can also be a deep quizzical thing, along for the mosey is an enigmatic traveler known as Q.

Roads to Quoz is a lyrical, funny, and magisterially told chronicle of American passage, of maps of the heart and mind, of too many rightward turns in a nation almost desperate for meaning beyond consumerism and self-absorption. At last, America’s greatest chronicler of blue highways has returned.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Few readers will be able to resist tagging along.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Natural, national, and personal history converge in this resplendent ‘mosey,’ an inspiriting antidote to hurry and a profound tribute to this good land and its people.” 


  • “Narrator Sherman Howard perfectly delivers the author’s saunter through the states. Howard’ s untroubled, unhurried exposition allows the listener to bask in the splendid (sometimes overdone) descriptions of ‘all things Quoz—things strange, incongruous, or peculiar.’ Howard delights in telling us about the mysterious Quapaw Ghost Light of Oklahoma or southern river towns that time forgot. It’ s like sitting on Grandpa’ s knee.” 


  • “A pleasure for his fans, who are deservingly many.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary Kay | 2/19/2014

    " William Least Heat Moon is a lot like Bill Bryson. In this book, he "moseys" across America searching for the offbeat & meeting up with lots of memorable characters. I enjoyed listening to this book, especially the part about the Low Country & the Gullah people of South Carolina. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Steve | 2/5/2014

    " 3 1/2 rounded up to 4. I could have given it a 5 if he hadn't gotten so wordy in places. There were parts I just had to skip over, but the rest of the book mostly made up for it. I realize that wouldn't bother a lot of people, but I tend to start skimming books after a hundred or so pages as it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jonathan | 1/27/2014

    " This was WLHM at his best. On the road again, he presents the lives of those he meets, and the country he passes through. Moon is almost poetic, and he treats those he meets with respect. A winner if you love his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jami | 1/18/2014

    " Anyone who knows me knows I suffer from chronic wanderlust. It helps that I have a man in my life who is a fellow sufferer, so I don't know if reading these kinds of books helps or hurts. All I do know is my travel bucket list has grown tenfold now. My father has recommended Heat-Moon's books for some time and I can see why. There is a great mixture of history, humor, and and quirky characters that make this a wonderful read. Not only do I want to travel the ICW (google it), but I would love to journey along abandoned railroads on a rail bike. I recommend this book to anyone who feels the call of the open road. "

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