Last Bus to Wisdom

Last Bus to Wisdom

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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"In the spirit of The Bartender's Tale, a lively and poignant coming-of-age story about a boy and his great-uncle on a cross-country odyssey. Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Doig's beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old's imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery for "female trouble" in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate-bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical--is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German (as Donal discovers him to be), and Donal can't seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate decides to pack him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But to Donal's surprise, he's not traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. In the immortal American tradition, the pair light out for the territory together, meeting a classic Doigian ensemble of characters and having rollicking misadventures along the way. Charming, wise, and slyly funny, Last Bus to Wisdom is another treasure of a novel from the best storyteller of the West"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books,, 2015
ISBN: 9781594632020
1594632022
9781101982563
Characteristics: 453 pages ; 24 cm

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CircMary Aug 15, 2017

Winsome and humorous.... another fond glimpse of life in the West by consummate author Ivan Doig, who died in 2015.

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crazycatlibrarian
Sep 22, 2016

Ivan Doig's last book, poignant humorous coming-of-age tale of 11 year old Donal Cameron, who travels alone by bus, from his comfortable ranch life with his ailing grandmother to a confusing town life with her fussy sister and cowed husband. The story is rich with adventure and gathered wisdom, one of my top ten these past two years.

RidnLibn Sep 01, 2016

What a sad irony that Ivan Doig's last novel is titled, "Last Bus to Wisdom." Mr. Doig passed away in April, so this may be our last chance to savor his wisdom. Doig's writing celebrates the American West, the characters it produces and the bittersweet experience of growing up. Set in the early 1950s, "Last Bus to Wisdom" follows a young boy's bus trip across middle America. The people he meets are unforgettable and the country through which he travels reflects that odd incubating era between World War II and the tumultuous 60s. This story is both touching and laugh-out-loud funny; it's the perfect read for a lazy summer day.

g
greggoddard
Jun 13, 2016

Ivan Doig's book , "Last Bus to Wisdom", is one big cliche, it seems wiritten for Hollywood. Boring.

PimaLib_MaryG May 25, 2016

How appropriate that Ivan Doig's last book is "Last Bus to Wisdom." An absolutely wonderful, wandering trip on the "dog bus" with 11-year-old (going on 12) Donal Cameron. Adventures and wisdom galore.

b
brangwinn
Oct 26, 2015

I will miss Ivan Doig’s books so much! He left us a legacy of a beautifully written last novel. I keep saying trying to pick my favorite Doig book is impossible, but this ranks close to the top. Doig pulled my heart into the story of Donal, a 10-year-old orphan who must leave the ranch he loves and his grandma he loves to head to Wisconsin to live with a cold-hearted great-aunt and a timid great-uncle. A first kiss, a run in with a sheriff, and nearly having his luggage stolen comprise only part of Donal’s adventures on the Greyhound bus. When his aunt kicks him out and basically sends him off to an orphanage, his is surprised to find his western-novel loving uncle sneaking on the bus with him. And then the adventure really begins, turns out his great-uncle is a wanted man—he’s an illegal German alien, and in 1951 that isn’t a good thing. What a team Donal and his new-grandpa make. When they end up in Wisdom, Montana on a hay crew one hopes they have finished their bumpy ride and have found a home. I loved this book. Doig’s characters are endearing and memorable.

c
CAPoppy
Oct 25, 2015

This is my first Ivan Doig novel and it was an engaging story that was well written. I would have given it 5 stars but it had a couple of slow parts and the ending just didnt grab me like I had hoped. The author did describe the characters, landscape and storylne with passion! Sadly, we have lost a great author far too soon!

s
Shelly Hagen
Sep 30, 2015

Ivan Doig's last novel is a boisterous and unpredictable road novel written only as a Montanan can pen or a westerner can understand. As Doig writes in this final novel about a boy leaving and returning in a roundabout way to Montana.."there is no other thrill quite like disappearing".

i
ididarodkid
Sep 26, 2015

This book reminded me of a rich tapestry. The weaving in all its richness with so many dimensions. Perhaps not totally appreciated by all. However, I lived in Wisconsin in that time, near Manitowoc, and can attest to the authenticity of the setting. "Hobos rode the rails, the Greyhound was familiar to me. So to comment on this book, the perspective might matter. However, beyond that it was a delightful and compelling read. Implausible in some respects to be sure, but the richness of the descriptions and the wonder of the loyalty between the young and the elder was simply precious. I could only recommend - give it a try, and if you are immediately pulled into the story you will not be disappointed.

e
EmilyEm
Aug 31, 2015

Young Donal Cameron has the summer of his life when his guardian grandmother has 'female' surgery and he’s sent to Wisconsin to stay with a great aunt and uncle he hardly knows.
Doig put his heart in this book, returning us to familiar people and places and enlivening us once more with a tale of imagination and writing. Superb.

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