Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

digital download. 5:24 hrs. Books on Tape. Oct. 2017.ISBN 9780525497707. $66.50. mEMOIR
OrangeReviewStarThis represents humorist, podcaster, and former Daily Show contributor Hodgman's first venture into nonfiction after three books of "fake trivia." Here, Hodgman drops his customary voice of deranged authority for a much more personal, but no less funny, memoir. This set of stories about his youth in Massachusetts and his move in middle age to a small town in Maine can turn on a dime from absurd fish-out-of-water small-town adventures to surprisingly affecting meditations on mortality. Hodgman demonstrates that he's capable of turning his wit upon any target, including himself, with both skill and compassion. It's impossible to imagine anyone else but the author narrating this audiobook, given his expertise as a podcaster and performer and the autobiographical nature of the material. The author's performance is intimate, conversational, and hilarious.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of Hodgman's podcast or previous books who are interested in seeing a new side of the author; fans of intellectual humorists such as David Sedaris; and listeners interested in idiosyncratic travel memoirs. ["This comedic spin across life in the Northeast will be enjoyable for those who relish the travel disasters of others or comedic nonfiction": LJ 10/1/17 review of the Viking hc.]
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