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Jonathan Yardley

Författare till Second Reading

8+ verk 326 medlemmar 9 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Jonathan Yardley is the book critic and a columnist for the Washington Post. He was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University in 1968-69 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism in 1981.

Inkluderar namnet: Jonathan Yardley

Verk av Jonathan Yardley

Associerade verk

Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer (1968) — Förord, vissa utgåvor265 exemplar
Selected Stories (1997) — Redaktör; Inledning — 95 exemplar

Taggad

Allmänna fakta

Födelsedag
1939
Kön
male
Nationalitet
USA
Yrken
book critic
Organisationer
Washington Star
The Washington Post
Priser och utmärkelser
Pulitzer Prize (Criticism, 1981)

Medlemmar

Recensioner

I only rate this as high as a three because it did say that it was a personal journey, a little too personal for my taste. This seems to be an outgrowth of a shallow article on the Mid-Atlantic that Yardley was commissioned to write. People from the region may be a bit suprised to find North Carolina included, but it is necessary for the conceit of the book.

It might be fair to point out that I didn't like Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck, although that seems to be considered a beloved classic by many people. Steinbeck started losing me in the beginning, boasting about his manliness, and I thought that the whole book was a pretense. His travels were a device to make his opinions seem more significant; they were far too fast and superficial to really allow him to take the pulse of the country. I think he could have written most of what he had to say at his desk without leaving home, but it sounds so more exciting to have our distinguished author seeming to go out in search of the truth. Much the same is true of this book, only it's Travels with My Taurus SHO. (Yardley loved that car.)

Yardley has no home town, having moved around quite a bit in his life, both as man and boy, and been sent to boarding schools for six years, but in the end, he concludes that the entire Mid-Atlantic is home, so we can all stop worrying about his sense of rootlessness. Since some of the most important and satisfying years of his life were spent in North Carolina, he went college at Chapel Hill, it is necessary for him to squeeze that into the Mid-Atlantic States. He also lived in Florida, but trying to include that would really be pushing credulity,

Now that his psyche is taken care of, what is in the book for the rest of us? It is quite a jumble, a mixture of tour guide, diary, personal opinions, a touch of history, no real deep analysis, and no obvious organization. Mostly it consists of a series of fast trips to various places, with his descriptions of the roads taking up almost as much room as his descriptions of the places he visits. We end up with a lot of trivia on motel pools that Yardley swam in, stores and restaurants that he disapproves of, and opinions that he had before he ever set out. While a little bit about the various roads is interesting, in the end, his deliberations on what road to use, how the road differs from a family trip decades before, and what speeds he was driving bore me thoroughly -- he begins to remind me of someone I know who can spend ten minutes telling you that his faucet leaked and he got a plumber to fix it. Some people are charmed by curmudgeons, I find them tedious more often than not. I really ended up having to soldier through this, partly because I wanted to see if someone could really think he had described the region while ignoring the existence of the Chesapeake Bay. Indeed he could. I did give myself permission to quit if he complained for a third time about vinaigrette salad dressings. Yardley wants us to know that he is a preppie, not a yuppie.

There are some highlights: the charm of New Castle, Delaware, or his writing about West Virginia. Significantly, there he had a local brother-in-law to talk to, and so it isn't just a drive-by analysis. He discusses the progress and nonprogress of race relations, a big topic given the demographics of the regions. I enjoyed reading about his visits to the Utz and Rolling Rock factories. On the other hand, I don't care about the centennial parade and details of Roland Park; he anxious for us to understand that he's a regular guy, even if he does live in a famously expensive enclave. I also learned more than I wanted to know about his college reunion and his niece's commencement. Yardley is a well-regarded critic whom some people I know read regularly, perhaps they would care.

I think there is a lot more that Yardley could have said about the region: that almost anywhere that is isn't covered with concrete, it is remarkably green and lush. One transplant from Arizona finds it oppressively green. Much of it would be naturally a forest, and between the variable landscape and the trees (with buldings where there aren't trees), there are almost no horizons unless one is looking out to sea. That in the megalopolis, it is never truly dark and never truly quiet. There is so much light that often the Milky Way is invisible. We are covering some of the nation's best agricultural land with buildings, something more important, I think, than that Yardley doesn't like shopping in outlet malls.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
PuddinTame | Apr 19, 2017 |
Just didn't click with me.

Library copy
 
Flaggad
Kaethe | 7 andra recensioner | Oct 17, 2016 |
I have been asked to review this. This however is not that review, just my musing so far. The book comes out this month. If you like reading books about books this is good stuff. Really, really good stuff. By turns the reviews are humorous, insightful, accessible, good-hearted and bold. He dares to say what the single greatest work of American literature is, plus what the single greatest American short story is. I won't say which works they are, but you can might be able to guess the first, but probably not the second which is by one of America's finest but most neglected writers. Not only that, but Yardley is also brave enough to take down some sacred cows, two of which I was hoping some one would level. Won't say what those are either. Talk about gutsy, he also admits to liking the word "dis", and is laugh out loud fun about the word "interface." The reviews are not wholly highbrow literature; there are reviews of genre fiction and comic strips, notably the wonderful Pogo.

… (mer)
 
Flaggad
lucybrown | 7 andra recensioner | Sep 27, 2015 |
I have been asked to review this. This however is not that review, just my musing so far. The book comes out this month. If you like reading books about books this is good stuff. Really, really good stuff. By turns the reviews are humorous, insightful, accessible, good-hearted and bold. He dares to say what the single greatest work of American literature is, plus what the single greatest American short story is. I won't say which works they are, but you can might be able to guess the first, but probably not the second which is by one of America's finest but most neglected writers. Not only that, but Yardley is also brave enough to take down some sacred cows, two of which I was hoping some one would level. Won't say what those are either. Talk about gutsy, he also admits to liking the word "dis", and is laugh out loud fun about the word "interface." The reviews are not wholly highbrow literature; there are reviews of genre fiction and comic strips, notably the wonderful Pogo.

… (mer)
 
Flaggad
lucybrown | 7 andra recensioner | Sep 27, 2015 |

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Statistik

Verk
8
Även av
3
Medlemmar
326
Popularitet
#72,687
Betyg
3.8
Recensioner
9
ISBN
14
Favoritmärkt
1

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