If you have not yet read it, I suggest you take a look at a long travel piece that appeared in the New York Times recently. Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian writer, accepted an offer from the times to come to America and write about his time here. Most improbably, Knausgaard ended up spending a large part of his time in Detroit. Though he had no particularly original takes on Motown, it is still interesting to read what he has to say. I think is must astonish foreigners to see Detroit. For most non-Americans, the USA represents everything that is new and polished and bright. But Detroit is none of those things. So how to reconcile your notions of America with square miles of abandon and ruin? You will have to read it for yourself. It is well worth the time.
My Saga by Karl Ove Knausgaard.