Last Bus to Wisdom

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

Last Bus to Wisdom: A Novel (Two Medicine Country) By Ivan Doig Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781594632020
Published: Riverhead Books - August 18th, 2015

As quintessentially American as Huckleberry Finn, Ivan Doig’s final novel is the 1950 saga of a young boy on the lam with an illegal immigrant—a German, no less—in the post WWII U.S. Chockfull of rollicking humor and blissfully good storytelling, Last Bus is not just a paean to this country as it existed half a century ago, but also as canny a look at American culture, language and morals as is Twain’s masterpiece to which it bears some intentional similarities: Boy and outcast journeying across the landscape, separated from the confines of so-called safe society with only one another to depend on. The difference being that the journey is not by raft but by bus, that prototypical American mode of transportation in the 1950s. Doig’s tale begins on the Double W Ranch in Montana, when 11-year-old Donal’s grandmother, ill and in need of surgery, sends Donal off to her sister halfway across the country in Wisconsin—by bus and by himself. Adventures abound as he meets scalawags and jailbirds, lovers and losers, the worst of which turns out to be his Aunt Kate herself. Before long Donal hits the road in the company of her German husband—who isn’t in fact her husband and who is so smitten by Western lore that all he wants from life is to see some cowboys and some Indians. Which they do as their trail takes them from middle America to the still-raw West—to powwows and rodeos and ranches and hobo camps in a book so purely involving and so much fun to read it’s easy to label it an American classic. As is Ivan Doig, the most engaging storyteller the West has ever known. – Betsy Burton

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain, Azar Nafisi (Foreword by), R. Kent Rasmussen (Introduction by), R. Kent Rasmussen (Notes by) Cover Image
By Mark Twain, Azar Nafisi (Foreword by), R. Kent Rasmussen (Introduction by), R. Kent Rasmussen (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780143107323
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Penguin Classics - October 28th, 2014