Billed as some weird literary cross between the NPR yarns of Garrison Keillor, the Beat poetry of Jack Kerouac and the peaceful philosophy of Gandhi, Wayne Iverson’s Hobo Sapien: Freight Train Hopping Tao and Zen is filled with Western adventure, Eastern spirituality and a bit of everything in between.
Iverson writes about his 12-year stint spent in the underground world of the American hobo, breaking up those tales of riding the rails with sage insight learned from a seven-year sitting spell as a monk. It’s not often that someone can write so expertly and with such clarity about a bit of a misadventure. Iverson began his adult life at an Ivy League school, wound up having a bit of an identity crisis and started hopping freight trains to deal with the pressures of it all. This nonfiction account is his way of combining rich historic lore with the profound wisdom he learned along the way.