Bumpy Roads

Bumpy Roads - Brian Wilson Brian Wilson’s Bumpy Roads is a cozy, laid-back, easy read of afternoon delights, indeed an antidote to life’s “bumpy roads,” which perhaps may provide the ultimate meaning behind the metaphor. Within this eclectic collection we find part travelogue, which provides some of Wilson’s most beautiful prose, part history, part family and friend situations, sprinkled with Mr. Wilson’s light charming poetry and some photographic essays, and five or so additional witty and clever pieces by Rachel Coop that add up to, well, Bumpy Roads.
This book continues the theme began in Moments in Time that explored the effects of the shattering earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, 2010, though it travels further afield. One of my favorites is “The Journey,” wherein a nurse traveling on a bus and observing a man who is obviously dead responds to the other passengers who are shocked when she nonchalantly pulls the chord to simply disembark without offering any assistance to the man: “Dead is dead, and I want to get home. Death marks the end of a journey. This is where I get off.” Within those very simple lines is a universe of understatement. Another—and perhaps my most favorite is “Death in the Family,” in which an elderly man who has admitted that he is experiencing increasing moments of confusion such as placing the milk in the oven, is trying to remember just whose funeral he is attending. He does not see his wife Mary in attendance. Could it be she? You will have to read the book to find the answer. Rachel Coop’s work is ironic and often very funny, well set-up and fits very nicely in this collection.
I found myself wondering if Mr. Wilson had any plans to re-visit any of these characters to develop them more fully; for example, Shane in “Home Alone.” I often found myself almost shocked by abrupt endings; I wanted more!
Bumpy Roads is a highly enjoyable quick read that will take you to Paris and China, to Italy and Down Under, and along your own Bumpy Roads.