Review by Graham Johnson, author of Hack, Powder Wars, The Devil, The Cartel, and Druglord.
"Ace book. Carefully observed and very funny.
I really enjoyed Dog Days by Andrew Thompson. It was funny and dark at the same time, and the writing style is over-easy and straightforward, which you need if you’re reading about America, especially if you’re reading it when you’re travelling. I liked the fact that the author was not afraid to show the cheap and grimy side of American life, full of little let-downs and frustrations, which is always in your face, especially if you’re backpacking on budget. Thompson doesn't gloss over this and uses it to great comic effect. The bits about the Yanks' obsession with the military are bang on and will probably get him a couple of months in Guantanamo if he ever goes back.
But most of all, Dog Days is crammed full of tips for any wannabe traveller going in search of the real America. The romance we associate with backpacking in the States - Route 66/Simon and Garfunkel etc - gives way to the real deal. For instance, I didn’t know that Greyhound buses were such hard work, and if you buy a travel pass you can’t book a seat - the tricks of the trade that Kerouac didn’t mention in On the Road.
As a reader, Dog Days drew me in 100 per cent. If it was a choice between a Lonely Planet and Dog Days, to get me through the day on long bus ride between Nashville and Nowheresville, I’d go for Dog Days every time."