Book Review: Zephyr

Zephyr: Tracking a Dream Across America
by Henry Kisor
Times Books (Random House), 1994. ISBN 0-8129-1984-X

This is the first of three reviews of Amtrak travelogue books. The other two books reviewed are Making Tracks and Booked on the Morning Train.

Zephyr concentrates on one train in the Amtrak system — the California Zephyr, which makes a 51-hour run between Chicago and Emeryville, California (just across the Bay from San Francisco).  Kisor is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and writes as a journalist would.  He describes the passengers, the route, the sights, and the history of the areas that the train passes through.  He participates in some whimsy himself, spending a couple of hours concocting a murder mystery set aboard a train after meeting a fellow writer.  He tells of passenger antics, of the forced camaraderie of the assigned-seating in the diner, of the reactions to the views from the lounge car.

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