Riverbed Books, 464 pages, $28.95
This is not a mystery. But it is one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Ivan Doig recently died and it is fortunate that we have this fine book as his coda. He is a writer with a western sensibility. He was raised in Montana and has written often of the area. “The Last Bus to Wisdom” celebrates the wandering, adventurous spirit of an eleven-year-old boy, cast adrift by accident and mishap to ride the “dog bus” (Greyhound, if you haven’t already guessed) between Montana and Wisconsin one summer.
Although his books often are celebratory of the new Old West, he said: “I don’t think of myself as a ‘Western’ writer. To me, language — the substance on the page, that poetry under the prose — is the ultimate ‘region,’ the true home, for a writer.”