Even the best-laid travel plans go astray. Often the most anticipated aspect of the trip has some drawbacks. (See Playing Tourist–Guanajuato and Getting Legal–Trip 4) Remember the torture chamber tour and the time the truck axle fell off on the overpass? Man, those were some vacation memories! Wouldn’t you agree? Vacation to Graceland by Phillip Cornell is no exception to Murphy’s Law.
Scooter joy riding Granny, grouchy mom, financially strapped sister Crissy, her two kids, and the narrator head to Memphis for a family reunion barbecue. Hitting the road early to make the family fish fry is complicated by a quick stop at Kmart, another stop for lottery tickets, heading across town to pay a bill, faulty GPS knowledge, hunger, crankiness, hotel reservation issues, parking problems, exorbitant prices and a wrong turn or two. It’s a good thing that all’s well that ends well.
The misadventures that occur in Vacation to Graceland by Phillip Cornell are typical of any family trip and as a result were quite humorous. I felt like I was stuffed in the backseat along with them on the trip, and none too comfortable either, I must admit. It was a quick, entertaining read.
However, there were some grammatical issues that I was not sure whether to chalk up to local vernacular, intentional errors representing the narrator’s natural speech patterns, or author mistakes. There were errors in noun and verb use (sale/sell), homophone confusion (isle/aisle), misspelling mistakes (intensions/intentions), inconsistent spelling (gripping/griping), missing apostrophes (trips expenses/trip’s expenses), verb and adjective mix-ups (drunken/drunk), and words I just couldn’t figure out what they were meant to convey (My mom hackled me?). Far be it for me to criticize overmuch. I’ve been known to have language issues myself. After all, there was that official police visit that had me imagining house stealers and that “go and see if the sow laid eggs” Mexican Spanish expression that caused me some grief. (See Who’s on first in Spanglish and Learning and Teaching–Language)
As most people have had their fair share of road trip disasters, the majority of readers will find something to relate to and laugh about in this book. I mean, who hasn’t been squashed next to bickering children in the back seat? If you prefer not to relive such traumatic experiences ever, perhaps this isn’t the book for you. My overall rating was influenced by the above mentioned grammatical problems. Therefore, I rate this book an entertaining 3 out of 4 stars.