Where Hollywood ends and America begins

Tara Lohan: A new book by Alicia Rebensdorf takes readers, literally, down the road of pop culture. It is a trip not to be missed.
We've been needing a good women's road-trip adventure since Thelma and Louise -- and finally we have one -- and it doesn't involved Thunderbirds and deep canyons.

Alicia's Rebensdorf's just released first book, Chick Flick Road Kill: A Behind the Scenes Odyssey into Movie-Made America (Seal Press:2007), takes readers on a cross-country trek to explore the places in America that she saw on the big and little screen growing up in the 80s. We get to revisit Stand By Me, Twin Peaks, A River Runs Through It, Purple Rain, Field of Dreams, Cheers, Rocky, The Truman Show, Thelma and Louise, and others as Rebensdorf heads from California east and back again.

The best part of the book is Rebensdorf's honesty -- her characterizations of the people she meets, her own fears of traveling as a solo woman, her drunken outings, and TV indulgences. Along the way we also get poetic descriptions, insightful musings, and an unscheduled trip to the Ronald Reagan museum.

If you like driving or even the mythology of the road -- and if you've ever wondered where Hollywood ends and America begins, then this book is a must read.

Here's the Intro:


Portraits on book covers and big screens paint the road as an icon of freedom: endless, unhindered, and devastatingly open. It is a well-cut car ad: two lanes, oozing vistas, and no traffic, unless it's a potential sex partner stopped at the same red light. The road is Easy Rider. It's Kerouac. A roving backdrop for high-armed Harleys. A world of quarters for public phones, beer in cans, breakfast in the kind of diners that barely exist, and gas stations where you can't pay at the pump. It's Thelma and Louise and it's Rain Man. Unkempt hair and perpetually good music. The road is where the act of driving solves things. Like America's yellow brick road, it promises heart, courage, brains, new friends, killed demons, and discovering something you had all along. Like the promise of a high school makeover, it makes us wiser, realer, cooler.
Tara Lohan is a managing editor at AlterNet.