It's belles lettres about travel mixed up with art criticism. At least the first 50 pages are. I put this book down without reading further. The travel writing wasn't meant to be the interesting part; it was a, uhm, creative platform to present biographies of creative folks who, apparently, led boring lives. Maybe I could find their stories compelling since they created some great works of art or something or… But no. Hopper painted scenes of banal places and made them into art. No doubt there's a way to write about banal places and likewise turn them into literature but oh good grief this book's description of the dining area of a gas station was not it.