Whether dashing through the Plains, creeping over the Rockies, hurtling across the Great Basin, or threading the Sierra Nevada, the California Zephyr is an earthbound cruise ship bearing as many as 300 passengers, each with a story to tell over the train's 51-hour run from Chicago to San Francisco Bay. Veteran journalist and novelist Henry Kisor climbs aboard and introduces us to the men and women who ride the rails—some out of restlessness, some as a hobby, some seeking love and friendship. There are also the resourceful train crew, who tell tales of "dog-robbing" supplies in the yards, of coping with medical emergencies en route, and of keeping their good humor. Fans of Henry Kisor's mystery novels and other nonfiction books will find him to be an affable traveling companion. As we head westward with him, Zephyr becomes a personal journey into the heart of America. This new 2015 edition brings up to date the original 1994 hardcover, and includes scores of new photographs. "An indispensable traveler's aid," the New York Times Book Review called it.
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Henry Kisor is the author of two other nonfiction books, "What's That Pig Outdoors?: A Memoir of Deafness" and "Flight of the Gin Fizz: Midlife at 4,500 Feet." He is also the author of five Steve Martinez mysteries set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: "Season's Revenge," "A Venture into Murder," "Cache of Corpses," "Hang Fire," and "Tracking the Beast." A sixth, "The Riddle of Billy Gibbs," is forthcoming. He and his wife Debby spend half the year in Evanston, Illinois, and the other half in a log cabin on the shore of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. He retired in 2006 after thirty-three years as an editor and critic for the old Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1981 he was a nominated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism.
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