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Gary Orleck, author
‘Travels With Maurice’ is a gem of a book that just sneaks up on you with its greatness. While the title makes you think it’s a travelogue or road trip book (and we’ve all read enough of these), Travels is so much more. The story begins with a toast in a bar to the news that an old friend has died; you are quickly drawn into the world of Gary Orleck, who did a simple favor for Maurice, a fellow student at Babson College, and then found his life changed in a way that he could have never foreseen. Soon, this son of a tire businessman found himself driving through Europe in the height of the 60s with the son of an Iranian billionaire in a bright red Mustang. Going from a world of limitations and “no’s,” Gary found the doors unlocked, the curtains were drawn back and in the company of the rich, famous artists from exclusive music venues in London, clubs in the south of France with exclusive underground dance rooms, dancing with Bridgette Bardot, dining with the Shah of Iran and in the midst of military tensions during the Cold War. So ‘Travels With Maurice’ is a travelogue or a road trip book, right? And that is where the magic of this book lies. The lifelong friendship, the lessons learned, and the change of attitude towards Gary’s life itself make this book an incredible read. While Maurice, as the son of a rich man, could have easily skated through Europe and his life on his family’s money, he was incredibly aware of the people around him, their hopes, their dreams and tried to make their interaction with him, however brief, meaningful and memorable. Sure, Travels has its share of women, parties, 60’s music stars, and well, exactly what you might expect from two young American men driving a sports car with a copious amount of money, but the treasure of this book is in the way these two young men changed each other for the better. The book gives you a choice. You can read it as an incredible, funny, and heartwarming road trip book. You can let yourself be immersed in this world the author, Gary, got to experience once-in-a-lifetime, but you will be doing yourself a disservice. The richness of this personal story will find you savoring every page, from the toast that opens it to the story of these two men’s lives long after their time together in Europe. This is not a simple book. It is an invitation by Gary to the reader to go on a journey with him that isn’t measured in miles driven, but in years of life that he has finally been able to put down on pages that you simply won’t be able to stop turning.