File Size: 1096 KB
Print Length: 267 pages
Publisher: Viking (October 24, 2017)
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
If you don't like David Hodgman, what is completely wrong with you?, amusing, pithy, and insightful., Like Calvin Trillin, (who may be a little more urbane and " citified" when compared with Hodgman's more rueful suburban everyman persona), John Hodgman often feels like he's ever so gently teasing the viewer, even while he amuses.
Inside this collection Hodgman reports that he's pretty much burned out and used up, such that these pieces are sadly all that he has left. Probably it's time for a retrospective and a little bit of a summing up. There's that tease, and a slyly fake self-deprecating air that allows the reader in on the joke and can feel oh so inviting. Even if Hodgman is being a little pointed or edgy, and even if he's dismissing or mocking something or someone you may hold dear, he is still, well, friendly.
None of these articles gets upwards on a high horses or goes in for a kill. This is much more thoughtful and gentle stuff, (often with Hodgman the butt of the humor), but that does not mean it doesn't speak out loud also it doesn't mean it doesn't please make sure. Even when he's just as being a hubby or a father or an only child Hodgman can pluck a neural or point out a few sticky truths.
You will definately get semi-autobiographical essays about middle age, fatherhood, growing upwards an only child, and, famously, the " painful beaches" of Maine. Apparently, a number of this material is drawn from his funny tour, " Vacationland". (BTW, Hodgman has said that his original title for the book was - " John Hodgman Informs Absolutely, Maybe Awfully Real Stories as He Sprints Toward Death in Emotionally and Literally Cold Places. " So, I suppose that works as a summary of this book too. )
But all of that aside, this is, very funny and amusing writing by someone who knows what he is doing and is also in complete command of his craft. As you read, and savor, you are busy and also impressed. That may be an admirable combination, and also this is a wonderful find.
(Please be aware that I received a free ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Separate from that I possess no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book. ), I liked John Hodgman’s Vacationland: Real Stories from Painful Seashores on an emotional degree. Maybe that’s too obvious a statement, but I actually say this upfront simply to warn you that I have no pretense of objective evaluation in this review. I was and am moved by this book. It talked to me in my current context (entering my late 30s worried about family and future) and asked the questions I actually ask myself. I came across the book to be informative, moving, and funny, but I’m not sure that it is (or wants to be) universally so. Okay, enough lame caveats. I liked the book and you should too. Not positive why I’m worrying about the book review police putting me in book review jail.
Vacationland is a fast read, but leaves a lasting impression. It gave me one of those magical time-travel evenings in which I actually sat right down to read and suddenly five hours were gone and I stared at the final page considering, “wait, how did you do that? ” All those experiences, at their best, leave me feeling essentially changed in some way. It’s also the kind of book that, once finished, motivated me to sit with the big questions and leave my warm house on the cold, damp night time for a rambling 1AM drive to think about the nature of human being endeavor and impermanence. Feel I selling this as a fun book yet? Because it is. It is a fun book. It’s just not fun merely for the reason of fun like many of Hodgman’s earlier works (which I also enjoyed). Vacationland is fun in an honest, real life sort of way that marries silliness with misfortune and pain with nonsensicality. It is, in my opinion, what grown-up United states humor should be at this moment in our history, a point in time when earnestness and sincerity appear to be on the basics at the highest amounts of government and public life. This book is not one man’s truth used as a cudgel to beat back any resistance. It is an article in the original sense of the word, a work of trying, a strenuous attempt to find a truth -personal or universal. It isn’t hard to understand how in the current political/social context, Hodgman isn’t thinking about throwing more fake facts onto the pile. You sense him or her living with the question of, “okay, what now” in these pages, and that’s a question that resonates with nearly all of us.
The last point I want to make is that Vacationland is one of those books functions (in part) because its author is definitely good company. John Hodgman has a voice and knows how to put it to use. John is brilliant and observant and self-deprecating and aware of his own nonsense. He can go from truly poetic to absurd in the span of a sentence and the tension between those highs and valleys creates a satisfying narrative rhythm.
This book made me personally cry. It made me personally laugh at surprising moments. It made me want to walk out on the sharp-edged Maine shorelines of my own unpleasant questions and wade out into the nickel-gray normal water and find myself stronger and more whole from the experience., There's a lot to really like about a David Hodgman: his brazen, defiant sensibility, his warm velvet robe of affabilitoix, his succulent beak of interest. I imagine he conditions but would not wash his hair daily as it will strip the primary oils. But what if I actually was going to strip his essential oils? Both the coloured biles, le huile de noix, and his unfairly maligned phlegms.
Hodgman is funny, if you like that sort of thing, and he could make you believe that aging is really as bad as everyone has always said but he will get it done in a way that if you're reading this book while facing a mirror and also you suddenly get yourself... then you will wink unexpectedly... and then you will slowly mouth area the words, " The god, I could positive go for some sour balls. ", Great book by a great and funny author. One of the like minded weird introverts who I would love to silently share a Martini with and then, just as silently, do an Irish Goodbye. TIA, This particular is a beautifully written book. I was remorseful when it was over. I actually paid attention to it as an music book and the lilting tones of David Hodgman added a depth to the writing that is lovely and memorable., John Hodgman is the best! Funny, honest, vulnerable, compassionate. Read it.
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