Although his career as a bestselling author and on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart was founded on fake news and invented facts, in 2016 that routine didn't seem as funny to John Hodgman anymore. Everyone is doing it now. Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth: John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses: the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.Vacationland collects these real life wanderings, and through them you learn of the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, and which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison. There is also some advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.Though wildly, Hodgmaniacally funny as usual, it is also a poignant and sincere account of one human facing his forties, those years when men in particular must stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weird dads that they are....
|Title||:||Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Vacationland » Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches|
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Reviews
If you know who John Hodgman is and generally enjoy his dry sense of wit, then this book is for you -- congratulations. It's a loose and shaggy collection of reflections thematically connected through vacation homes in Massachusetts and Maine. If that sounds like an amazing feat of NPRish navel-gazing white privilege thematic stunt-work, well, Hodgman is certainly hep to that. His self-deprecation extends and stretches throughout the book in numerous asterixes noting the absurdity of his milieu ...more
I found it nearly impossible not to compare John Hodgman's essays with those of David Sedaris. Hodgman seems inspired, in part, by Sedaris' wry observations and dry humour, even if he is never able to reach the heights of Sedaris. The two authors are quite dissimilar in personality and writing, but the style of the book itself is what Hodgman seems to have used as a framework to build his own collection of essays.
Unfortunately, the stories collected in Vacationland are supremely off-balance. Lis ...more
If you grew up riding the Red Line to Harvard Square in your teens, then spent your 20s in Western MA and now vacation in Maine... This is a really really really really really good book. Go read it now. Like..right now.
Honestly, I never really liked John Hodgman. Until this book. I listened to the audiobook, and he made me laugh out loud through the entire thing. Well, not the part about his mom who died, that made me cry, but the entire rest of the book was so entertaining and self-aware and hilarious. Great essays and insight and necessary reading if you love the East Coast.
John Hodgman's Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches is what he refers to as his own brand of white privilege comedy wherein he talk about splitting his time between two summer homes in Maine and Western Massachusetts. Super relatable!
He shares personal anecdotes about dining with neighbour Black Francis of the Pixies, buying a wooden Jimmy Steele peapod (it's a boat) and getting high while speaking at colleges. Sounds like the insufferable musings of white male privilege gone slightl ...more
Hodgman has written an excellent series of interwoven personal essays in Vactionland. He is an insightful, hilarious, and articulate writer. I have to imagine, given his disdain for cliches, that Hodgman hates that this book is of the type that can be described as one that induces laughter and tears on the same page, sometimes in the same sentence.
I listened to this as an audiobook, which I highly recommend, because Hodgman's delivery adds a lot. It's the first book he's written that's an actual memoir, and it's terrific. It's not just funny, but it's insightful, charming, and self-aware. I think that even people who aren't already fans would enjoy it.
Plainly put, John Hodgman's Vacationland is great. It positively exudes Hodgman-yness. Yes, I had to check the cover repeatedly to make sure it hadn't grown an alarming goatee/mustache combination! Straight Talk: If you are a John Hodgman fan you will like this book; If you aren't, you wont. I am and I did and I regret nothing!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I received an ARC of this book from Viking/Netgalley in exchange for an honest (though possibly biased) review.