Cow Across America 

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"Cow Across America" is the winningly improbable story of two young men who set out walking to California with nothing but their wits and a milk cow named Ivy. At least thats how Dwight Martin hears it growing up in the 1960s. Hes bored to tears at the prospect of spending the summer on his grandparents North Carolina farm. But hes also estranged from his father and secretly terrified by the prospect of the adult world. He finds comfort in the wild yarns spun by his grandfather Wylie Rominger, who boasts that his adventure stories are true. The tales are dearly purchased, since Wylie makes Dwight pay him to hear each successive chapter. These unlikely exploits see Wylie and his childhood friend swept up the Mississippi River, carried along by tornadoes, falling into Indian graves, and finding a secret shortcut through the Grand Canyon. As Dwight grows to manhood, he discounts the tall tales and angers the old man. His parents divorce. He makes his first attempt at wooing a young woman. Despite his modern misgivings, he cant ignore the pull of those stories as he comes to grips with his own yearnings. When his grandfather dies, Dwight discovers that most of the tales were trueand he learns what Wylie did with all those nickels and dimes. Inspired in part by the raucous humor of Mark Twain, and tapping into the American pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s, Cow Across America is a book about the power of stories to link the generations.

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