Ghost Riders is a travelogue by Richard Grant that explores the nomadic impulse and the myths and realities of the wandering life. The book combines the history of the conquistadors, the native Americans, and the white European settlers with stories of Grant’s encounters with fellow drifters, hobos, rodeo-riders, cave-dwellers, tramps, buckskinners, and almost every other kind of American borderline psychotic and itinerant.
Grant follows the trails of the first European to wander across the American West, joins a group of rodeo-competing cowboys, tells the story of the vanishing nomadic Indians, and links up with 300,000 ‘gerito gypsies’ – old people who live and travel in recreational vehicles. The book wanders through chapters about cowboys and Indians, the destruction of the American buffalo, Ulster Scots settlers, and trips to the outskirts of the scrappy new American cities.
The main themes of the book are the nomadic impulse, the myths and realities of the wandering life, and the history of the American West. The book also explores the lives of various American nomads and their unique experiences.
What I Liked
The book is so engaging and well-written. It explores a very American impulse that definitely exists to this very day. It’s a good travel book with lots of good stories.
What I Did Not Like
This book is not as good as his other books – I would start with Dispatches From Pluto.