Synopses & Reviews
You know those people who get passionately, fanatically, obsessively into things? People like doll collectors or Star Wars
fans or that lady down the street with creepy red and white gnomes all over her yard? I noticed them too and I was, well, jealous.
See, they had something I didn't: Passion. Purpose. Pizzaz. I mean, I'd always had interests cooking, reading, hiking. But I was never fanatical about any one thing, and by the time I hit forty I wanted to change all that. I wanted to love diamonds like Elizabeth Taylor, or cooking like Julia Child. But I was not like these women with their over-the-top interests. I was more like Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island. You know. Nice. Temperate. Vanilla.
So I set out to learn what passionate fanatics had that I didn't. Could I find my own source of passion by studying the passions of others?
The quest took me, among other places, to a pigeon race in the Bronx, storm chasing in Kansas, and to Mayberry Days, an annual celebration of the decades-old Andy Griffith Show where I met a woman who watches up to 40 reruns a week in her effort to retain her title as the Mayberry Trivia Queen. Along the way, I learned such vital, life-affirming facts as:
- How to motivate a pigeon
- The value of a Bubble Cut Barbie
- Why the storm chaser's motto is: Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on!
- And that in the ice fishing world, it's better to be a Dickhead than an Oh-Shitter, which I'm only revealing here because it's not a major plot point in the book.
Part armchair travel, part cultural study, part personal journey, Who Are You People?
will put to rest many of the misconceptions people have about the fanatics around them. Better yet, the book will have readers celebrating the quirky diversity of their fellow Americans.
"Subcultures that inspire rabid devotion from Barbie collecting to ice fishing are examined with wit and compassion." Entertainment Weekly ("The Must List")
Who Are You People? takes a heart-warming and insightful look inside approximately thirty unique hobby cultures from Barbie collectors and ice fishermen to all-night board gamers and pigeon racers. Caudron also includes conversations with psychologists and other experts who put passion into sociological and historical perspective. Meanwhile, Caudron chronicles her personal quest for passion in her own life. While highly entertaining, this book also provides significant insight into contemporary life in America. Caudron reveals why people are indulging in their fanatical passions, and how that indulgence is transforming community life.
This book is highly entertaining, but it also provides significant insight into contemporary life in America. Caudron reveals why people are indulging in their fanatical passions, and how that indulgence is transforming community life.
About the Author
Shari's been a freelance writer ever since she was fired from her first and only full-time job back in the era of curly perms and mattress-sized shoulder pads.