x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

I Left My Tent in San Francisco: A superficial travel tale

The C-list polymath Emma Kennedy's account of her misadventures travelling across the US in the 1980s is humorous but predictable.

I Left My Tent in San Francisco
Emma Kennedy
Ebury Press
I Left My Tent in San Francisco Emma Kennedy Ebury Press Dh78

There are not many clues on the dust jacket as to why anyone should be interested in Emma Kennedy's account of a post-university jaunt across 1980s America with her best mate, Dee.

A couple of clicks on Google reveal that Kennedy is a vaguely familiar C-list polymath whose credits include a number of minor movie roles and some British radio and TV comedies. Inevitably she blogs and Tweets ("I'm up. Deal with it.")

I Left My Tent in San Francisco is her follow-up to another camping-themed memoir The Tent, the Bucket and Me, after which the genre is surely exhausted.

This time Kennedy sets out from Los Angeles, intent (no pun intended) on arriving in New York despite having a budget of just $700.

A series of predictable misadventures follow. Kennedy is hit by an earthquake, gets sprayed by a skunk, is taken for a ride by a midget adult film producer in a Ferrari and risks the wrath of a dead voodoo priestess in New Orleans. The lasting impression is of more embroidery than a room full of medieval tapestries.