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Adventurous,
Fun,
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6 reviews

Last Bus to Wisdom: A Novel
by Ivan Doig

Published: 2015-08-18
Hardcover : 464 pages
4 members reading this now
29 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 6 members
Named a Best Book of the Year by the Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Kirkus Review

The final novel from a great American storyteller.

Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the ...

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Introduction

Named a Best Book of the Year by the Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Kirkus Review

The final novel from a great American storyteller.

Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan 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, and Donal can’t seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate  packs him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But as it turns out, Donal isn’t 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 a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless readers. 

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of August 2015: The final book in Ivan Doig’s career as a great western writer begins with a journey east. 11-year-old Donal Cameron, already orphaned, must leave Montana and the protective skirts of his beloved Gram when she is required to have surgery. Armed only with an autograph book and an active imagination, Donal boards a Greyhound bound for Wisconsin. After a memorable trip that includes a first kiss and a run-in with a sheriff, he arrives to live with his Aunt Kate. It does not go well, and since it is the 1950s Aunt Kate threatens to send him back west to an orphanage. Donal boards a bus again, but now he has gained an unexpected companion: Aunt Kate’s beleaguered husband Herman the German (who intercepts the orphanage papers). Together they head west in a wide open and fun adventure. Donal shows Herman the west. Herman takes on the role of father figure. The boy’s autograph book fills up, and we watch him grow wiser with each signature (and there is another run-in with the sheriff). The apparent joy that Ivan Doig took in crafting this story is infectious—it is a wonderful novel, populated with simple and real characters. Last Bus to Wisdom is a yarn and a pleasure. – Chris Schluep

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by SherryMincic (see profile) 08/13/18

 
  "Last Bus to Wisdom is the Ride of a Lifetime"by nbaker (see profile) 02/16/18

I haven't been on a long bus ride in over 40 years, but after reading the Last Bus to Wisdom, I'm considering buying a ticket to anywhere, just to reacquaint myself with America and those no... (read more)

 
  "last bus to wisdom"by Carolynr (see profile) 02/18/17

Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full r... (read more)

 
  "Last Bus to Wisdom"by Kathleenaclem (see profile) 03/26/16

The author has an imaginative and creative way of weaving unique characters throughout the story. It's such fun seeing the world through the eyes of the young boy Donal as he uses his "storying" to get... (read more)

 
  "Last Bus to Wisdom"by krbrus (see profile) 03/26/16

In Doig's classic style, this book keeps you intrigued to the last page! A sweet tale of the not so old west and simpler times. Great, easy tread.

 
  "The Last Bus to Wisdom"by carolfleming (see profile) 12/19/15

A young boys perception of his life in Montana. Orphaned and being raised by his grandmother in rugged circumstances he is forced to grow quickly. Wonderful character descriptions and a delightful picture... (read more)

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