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If you've ever liked anything fromJohn Hodgman- Vacstionlabd is for you. If you have never heard of John Hodgman-re-evaluate your life. And also Vacationland is for you.
Layered with absurdist humor and sober sincerity, Hodgman captures snapshots of moments between his mid-twenties and early forties to tell his own coming of age story from early to mid adulthood. The book deals with family, and friendship, and the meeting place of who you were and who you have become.
Moments in Hodgman's life and their place in the world are described so beautifully and cleverly that I often found myself simultaneously laughing and weeping while listening on the subway (which-yes-made me look like a crazy person).
Also, both having read some of Vacationland in print and listened to all of it on audio, having it read out loud to me by Hodgman makes something that's already great even better. I would read from my fiancée's hard cover of the book, but even then I would go back and re-listen to the audible (buzz-marketing) version just so that I could listen to Hodgman tell the stories himself.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Even funnier than I expected, the author has a droll, deadpan delivery that is hilarious to listen to. Seemingly random anecdotes all come together to deliver thoughtful and conclusions that were more meaningful than I expected. It made me want to go to Maine- even if the water there is made of hate.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Summary: Funny, poignant, candid, and true tales from the life of bestselling author and humourist John Hodgman. I laughed, I wept, and I laughed again. A must-listen!
I’ll admit upfront that I am biased: I admire John Hodgman enormously and enjoy his humour.
His previous immensely popular books of fake facts led the reader on wonderful journeys down rabbit holes of trivia. But times move on and fake facts are no longer the fun diversion they once were.
Vacationland is a stunning change of pace for Hodgman.
Entering his 40s he reached sudden clarity on his own mortality and potential lack of relevance in a youth-driven culture. He does not show any bitterness, however, but accepts that this is the natural order of things. We pave a way for those who come after. But - he is not obsolete yet!
In modest and self-deprecating terms he describes himself as a “strange, white, male monster with bad facial hair”. He shares key moments of his life, and sets them in the context of the locations where he has lived, from The Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts to the “painful beaches” of Maine where he attests he will someday accept his death. He talks about his teenage years, fatherhood, and life as a ‘minor television celebrity’, and reflects on the events that have made him who he is.
Read by Hodgman himself, the style is conversational with beautifully descriptive passages that really evoke the visual scene. The tales are funny, revealing, and downright heartbreaking at times. He shares himself with us as never before.
John Hodgman is a wonderful storyteller and Vacationland totally satisfies, yet leaves you hoping for sequels. Highly recommended!
I didn't abandon this book after a few chapters, promise myself I'd get back to it and eventually return it. I listened from start to finish. I was not familiar with the author but I like him.