Dispatches from the Gilded Age: A Few More Thoughts on Interesting People, Far-Flung Places, and the Joys of Southern Comforts

Blackstone Audio. Aug. 2022. ed. by Everett Bexley. 11:41 hrs. ISBN 9798200927197. $19.95. BIOG
Garden & Gun columnist Reed (South Toward Home), who died in 2020, was a master in chronicling the humorous side of her professional and daily life. A modern-day Mark Twain, she found tender humor in the foibles of herself and her subjects—both famous and infamous. This book is a compilation of moments of her life up to the year of her death. It focuses on experiences with famous and famous-adjacent people she meets or interviews throughout her career. From Madeleine Albright to the Bush twins to André Leon Talley and a true southern poet, James Taylor, Reed seems to never have met a stranger. She also lingers on her love of food and fashion, and her unflagging love affair with her beloved Southern culture. Beginning her career with the reporting of the Scarsdale Diet murder, Reed continued to remain in the thick of it throughout her career. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at some of the events of these stories! Narrating with a sweetly tough Southern accent, Carol Monda is a delight.
VERDICT Wonderful stories written by a free-spirited woman from a privileged Southern family. Her irreverent style continues to charm.
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