Sunday, November 15, 2009

Travel Writing by Peter Ferry

Travel Writing by Peter Ferry follows the author as narrator throughout a series of intertwined stories that seems to combine fact and fiction.

Pete Ferry is a high school English teacher. He seeks to demonstrate to his students the power of telling a good story. He tells them about his supposedly made-up experiences following a car accident he witnessed. The accident occurred when Lisa Kim drove into a pole and died. Pete had come across her as she came careening along beside him, obviously intoxicated. At one point, he was next to her at a stoplight and wanted to jump out and take her keys to prevent her from driving. Of course, he didn't, and the result was her death.

Pete is haunted by this and becomes obsessed, trying to track her down to find out who she was and why she was in her condition. Who would want to kill the beautiful Lisa Kim? And why did her friends at the funeral think he was her boyfriend?

At the same time, he alienates his girlfriend Lydia, who cannot handle his obsession. Their already tumultuous relationship strains even further, and Pete is forced into self-reflection when he ends up with a lot of alone time.

Interspersed in the story about Lisa Kim are scenes of Pete in his classroom. Students keep asking him questions about writing a story and are desperately trying to figure out if the story is true or not. Also sprinkled throughout the story are travel essays written by Ferry. Some illustrate his relationship with Lydia, while others are designed to be informative about the destinations.

Ferry further blurs the lines between fact and fiction by including his real-life biography and writing experiences into his character's bio. It's the perfect example of putting yourself into your own story.

Trying to figure out what is fact and what is fiction in this book can make your head spin. It's better to just take the information as it comes and try to enjoy each part. Or think of it as reading three different books simultaneously. The pages will turn quickly and your brain will definitely get some exercise.

Purchase Travel Writing

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