Road trips to Las Vegas are the occasion for this entertaining meditation on the quintessentially American experience of driving across the desert. William Fox, successively exiled from California, Nevada, and New Mexico, has spent more time than most of us driving to Las Vegas--and he has taken notes on three recent trips, his own way of bringing cohesion to the vast and mind-numbing aspects of the freeway. Approaching the most postmodern city on the planet from three directions, he examines the landscape and what we do to it while also trying to figure out who he is, what that means, and the nature of the transformations of land into landscape through art and architecture, landscape design, and advertising. Fox's history of the region, both natural and cultural, highlights the creep of the urban supergrid across the most extensively traveled desert in the world.
This is a profoundly personal, even idiosyncratic book about the most public of subjects--living in the postmodern West at the end of the millennium and what the cities, the freeways, the open spaces, and the billboards tell us about ourselves.