Billy Connolly's Route 66
- The Big Yin on the Ultimate American Road Trip
- Narrated by: James McPherson
- Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 11-10-11
- Language: English
- Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Billy Connolly, music-lover, biker, and scourge of the beige and bland the world over, has dreamed about taking a trip on the legendary Route 66 since he first heard Chuck Berry belting out one of the greatest rock 'n' roll records of all time. And now he's finally had the chance to do it, heading out on his custom-made trike in search of the real America that can still be found beyond the nation's freeways. Travelling every one of its 2,278 miles from the skyscrapers of Chicago to Santa Monica Pier in California, Billy's journey takes him past many of the essential icons of the United States: the Gateway Arch in St Louis, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, and the funky neon-lit gas stations and diners that once lined the route. But it also gives him the chance to get to know the people who call it home, from Mervin the Amish carpenter, to fellow banjo enthusiast and obsessive instrument collector Rob, to Angel, one of the many people determined to keep the spirit of the Mother Road alive. Funny, touching and inspiring in equal measure, the tales he gathers on the way tell the story of modern America. And they might inspire a few people to get on their bikes as well.
With his unrivalled instinct for a good story, and the gregariousness that has made him our most engaging national treasure, Billy Connolly is the ultimate guide to the ultimate road trip.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Colin on 25-10-11
The book will be better...........................
The main problem I found with this title was the decision to use someone else instead of Billy to narrate. Often this ploy works fine (Bill Nighy doing an outstanding job on Eric Clapton's biog as an example). But Billy Connolly's unique style and presentation make him impossible to replace, and I'm afraid James McPherson really is not up to the job. Okay, he at least doesn't try to impersonate Mr Connolly, but his delivery is very flat, not a hint of the energy and boyish excitement you get from the man himself.
And why oh why did McPherson attempt an American accent whenever he's speaking on behalf of the people Billy meets on his travels? Not only is his accent awful but he also uses the same one for every character!
A shame really, as I'm sure if Billy had done the job himself the end result would've been much better.
I guess I'll wait for the DVD
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Brad Safranski on 20-03-18
A well performed, good story + some nonsense
This is a pretty good telling of a very aspirational adventure. Voice acting is satisfyingly Scottish sounding. Connolly shows some mild cynicism and Hollywood elitism that knocks it down a bit, but it's not too terribly overbearing.
By Joeblow on 27-12-17
Unbearably Liberal. Billy will ruin 66 for you.
Unfortunately, in afraid he will interpret "unbearably liberal" as a compliment if he ever reads this. It would be impossible to list all the ways this book disappoints so I'll limit it to only a few. First off, he constantly insults Christianity and really all religions. From literally making fun of Christian beliefs to going out of his way to describe Timothy McVeigh as a religious fanatic he constantly paints religious people as stupid, violent and useless. He goes so far as to be bewildered when he runs across someone he thought was intelligent, then discovered they attend church and trying to reconcile how that could be.
His politics rear their ugly head constantly. From saying we should spend government money on art not national defense to a long tangent on his great releasing wild wolves is (not one baby Elk or moose has survived in Yellowstone since their reintroduction) to countless other examples.
Further, he tells you multiple times not to visit the beautiful places he has been to because you will ruin them. Just watch his show, listen to his description and "leave it at that."
I am now less excited about my own 66 trip next year than ever before. Billy starts every description of a place or attracting by saying how great it was and then the remainder of the time he breaks that thing down, describing how dead and pitiful it is. He describes anything uniquely 66 as "tacky'." I thought it was odd a foreigner would describe the most American thing ever to us, how would be "get it?" Well... he certainly does not get it. He thinks he does (it seems he thinks he knows everything) but he does not.
He takes advantage of countless friendly, helpful people on his trip and then describes how pitiful they are or says not to go to their shop when you take the trip. If you're hoping it will be funny because he's a comedian you'll also be disappointed. In fact you will be sadder the longer you listen.
I am entirely disappointed in this book.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful