[King] chronicles those 330 miles with a veteran reporter’s sharp curiosity and a historian’s discernment ... Walking with King is like having an especially learned and observant companion, one who wears his erudition lightly as he regales you with concise yet illuminating glimpses into a moment of American history that happens to coincide with each spot he happens upon ... King acknowledges that this excursion was possible by the accident of his being an amiable, unthreatening, middle-aged White guy. One would be hard-pressed to imagine a woman or a person of color moving with such ease and impunity through this landscape. But the book is infused with a generosity of spirit and genuine humility borne of facing a catastrophe.
A beautifully written travelog, memoir, chronicle and history text. His prose is mellifluous, yet measured ... Joy and wonder suffuse King’s tale. He smiles on the maker’s handiwork, uneven as it is ... King puts his head and heart on the page. His life story helps drive the narrative, a mixture of the personal, political and pastoral. But it is not only about him ... American Ramble captures the religious and demographic topography that marks the mid-Atlantic and north-eastern US ... His reductionism is gentle. He appreciates the legacy of what came before him.
The wise, warmhearted account of a journey that was pedestrian in its execution, but miles from that in the depth of King's experience and his ability to share it in a clear and affecting way ... For all these quiet moments amid the lush spring beauty that's beginning to emerge around him and that he captures in elegant but unassuming prose, King doesn't ignore the imprint of the past on this region ... In the variety and richness of his many contemporary encounters in this small slice of America, he provides at least some reason for hope.