The Fool's Progress Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Fool's Progress

A man who is dying travels across the states to his hometown of West Virginia, and on the way he begins analyzing the state of America. A man named Henry Holyoak misses his hometown of West Virginia. He shoots his fridge with a gun, drinks, and reminisces on the home he used to have. The next day, Henry takes everything that is necessary for a road trip and hits the road to West Virginia. Henry is dying from an illness.
Click here to see the rest of this review...

While Henry is traveling the states, he visits a friend while on the road trip who is from the west. Henry's friend urge him to stay with them, but he is devoted to going to his hometown of West Virginia so he can set the wrong things right. As he continues on the trip, Henry realizes how dead the states have become environmentally. Despite of this, Henry maintains a sense of humor.

Regardless of Henry's view of the bad ecological status of the states, Henry is not environmentally focused himself. He eats beer with his 7 course meal and then liters everything on the highway. As Henry travels more, he continues ranting about the poor state of American land. He is angry with the fact that animals are butchered and eaten by humans.

Most of the story involves Henry traveling the states and pointing out the best possible positive and negative situations for America, along with discussing the poor state of the land due to the lack of human care. Most of Henry's views are manifesting because he is analyzing everything. He is analyzing everything because he is dying.

The story ends with Henry still on a sad road trip to West Virginia. Henry closes the story with his theory that the air is polluted by all the factories, and wonders if everything we have destroyed the earth with will destroy us.
Best part of story, including ending: What I liked about this story was that a man's final views of life were being expressed. It was interesting to see what the last thoughts of Henry were.

Best scene in story: My favorite part was when Henry visits his friends on the way to West Virginia. This part was good because his friends wanted him to stay with them. This was heartfelt because they were concerned about him.

Opinion about the main character: What I liked most about Henry was that he had very true views about America. He was right about the fact that we should treat animals and the ecosystem better.

The review of this Book prepared by Alex Peterson a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Fool's Progress

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   environmental issues Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   dying Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Physically sick


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Fool's Progress

Edward Abbey Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian