Riding Toward Everywhere has a calmer feel, more assuredness, than any previous Vollmann book. Gone are the frenetic run-on sentences; the long, poetic paragraphs; and the grand philosophizing on politics and morality. Vollmann finds a Zen-like joy in the simplicity of the "pouring rain, then birds and frogs, fresh yellow-green wetness of fields." After sleeping outside and in boxcars, he appreciates the comfort of a warm bed more than he ever has before. "Whenever I injure or tire myself on the rails," he admits, "I can rest, whether at home or in a flophouse." He has a choice to walk away from the hardships of hobo life, whereas others do not.
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