By Derek Lundy
“Lundy employs a wry sense of humour that keeps the pages turning as the miles fly by… Borderlands is well-balanced, both in terms of interview subjects and the exposure given to the northern and southern U.S. borders.With typical Canadian self-deprecation, Lundy worries that the Canadian border will hold none of the adventure and mystique of its southern cousin. Not so. While the book is primarily a travelogue commenting on America’s growing security obsession, in the borderlands between politics and memoir a fine history lesson exists, and Lundy is an excellent teacher.”
–Quill & Quire
An investigation of the American passion for security provided by one man on one bike, travelling 15,000 km along the US borders with Mexico and Canada.
Lundy investigates the idea that “good fences make good neighbours” when the fence in question is actually a heavily patrolled wall. The Mexican border represents a social and economic threat to misinformed Americans, in the form of illegal immigrants and drugs. However, the Canadian border is, by far, the more problematic. If Mexico equals indocumentados and dope, Canada equals the unknown: the subway attack, the dirty bomb in the suitcase – terror and bloody murder, the continuing erosion of the safe isolation of the American heartland. A rich, timely read to appeal to the current events/history/adventure readership. Armchair travellers will love joining Derek as he takes his trusty Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle to travel the U.S.-Mexican border, then the U.S.-Canada border, providing an unusual, first-hand account of the borderlands, the countries and the people.
“Intrepid adventure traveller, daring investigative reporter, and rigorous historian, Derek Lundy rode his motorcycle on ‘the edge’ in more than one way—the borders of the United States with Mexico and Canada, yes, but he also often rode the edge of survival, against wind, rain, heat, cold, gravel, mud, and homicidal logging trucks. Equally, he faced the extremes of the American frontier myth in the 21st Century, as I have also experienced them, as represented by the Border Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, and vigilante groups like the Minutemen. His polished prose is searingly honest about himself and what he experiences, and his story goes well beyond the conventions of ‘where I went and what I saw.’ He takes the reader into the deeper complexity of ‘what it all means.’ Borderlands is entertaining, enlightening, and important. I hope it will be widely read, and in particular by Americans—to witness what is being done in their names at the ragged edges of their great country.”
-Neil Peart, author of Ghost Rider and Roadshow, and drummer for “Rush”
“Get on the bike, we’re gonna have us a ride. Derek Lundy’s border meditation takes us deep inside the American obsession with security. His clear Canadian eye and clean prose makes me realize that my country shouts about safety but is frightened by life itself.”
-Charles Bowden, author of Down by the River: Drugs Money Murder and Family
“The two wheels of Lundy’s bike trace an illuminating path through space and time. A great ride and a great read, Borderlands is a profound exploration of the rough ground where rival histories, ethnicities, and mythologies jostle for their place in the sun.”
-Ronald Wright, author of Stolen Continents
Knopf, Canada, May 2010
Nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction BC Book Prize