Daughter of a Montana gunsmith and closet Don Corleone disciple ("'The Godfather' is a film crammed with rules for living"), Sarah Vowell has written a delightful series of autobiographical stories which stretch across the immense landscape of the American scene. Tackling a diverse range of subjects, from politics and religion to the forgotten ...
Daughter of a Montana gunsmith and closet Don Corleone disciple ("'The Godfather' is a film crammed with rules for living"), Sarah Vowell has written a delightful series of autobiographical stories which stretch across the immense landscape of the American scene. Tackling a diverse range of subjects, from politics and religion to the forgotten joys of mix-tapes, Vowell has the ability to spin a story on something as mundane as an Italian dessert. In search of the meaning of if not life, at least the ring-a-ding-ding of "That's Life", Vowell takes to the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey in seeking traces of the town's prodigal son, Frank Sinatra. She goes under cover of heavy make-up in an investigation of goth culture, hides from the world in the Chelsea Hotel and finally outgrows Armageddon in time for Y2K ("I don't need the end of the world to make friends anymore"). Brilliantly smart, sharp and engaging, "Take the Cannoli" presents a writer with a truly irresistible voice.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-02-21 A good storyteller can engage, provoke and intrigue in a few pages or a matter of moments. A great storyteller can accomplish all that while reflecting on something as mundane as an Italian dessert or a Midwestern bridge. A regular on Public Radio International's This American Life, Vowell (Radio On: A Listener's Diary) proves to be the latter in this quirky collection of thoughts, ramblings and memories that charmingly cohere into a full picture of American life. While she occasionally attempts to tackle larger political and historical issues, her talent lies in making small details bright and engaging. Especially sharp are her explorations of topics that might at first seem tired and overplayed, such as the Godfather movies (from which she draws the book's title), road trips, Disney and Sinatra. She displays her knack for insight during both her journalistic quests, as when she writes histories of New York's Chelsea Hotel and Chicago's Michigan Avenue Bridge, and her personal journeys, as when she describes a courtship conducted by exchanging cassette tapes. The essays, which rarely reference each other, stand on their own as snippets from the mind of a pop culture maven Taken together, however, they form a vivid autobiographical portrait: Vowell's description of growing up a gunsmith's daughter in Oklahoma complements another essay about road tripping with her sister down the Trail of Tears, and makes an ensuing piece on a visit to Disney's planned town, Celebration, even funnier. Vowell's writing?a blend of serious observations and bouncy remarks?makes for rich commentary on America, and for great stories. Agent, Wendy Weil. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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