If you don't happen to have two vacation homes, it's okay. John Hodgman does, and he'll tell you funny stories about them, which feels almost as good as having two vacation homes. This book exceeded my expectations. Vacationland is Hodgman at his wittiest and most endearing. Recommended By Moses M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Although his career as a bestselling author and on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart was founded on fake news and invented facts, in 2016 that routine didn’t seem as funny to John Hodgman anymore. Everyone is doing it now.
Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth: John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses: the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.
Vacationland collects these real life wanderings, and through them you learn of the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, and which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison. There is also some advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.
Though wildly, Hodgmaniacally funny as usual, it is also a poignant and sincere account of one human facing his forties, those years when men in particular must stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weird dads that they are.
"This here yarn has everything you want — laughs, love, death, and the obligatory legume-shaped boat. Hodgman’s wide-eyed sense of place is as irresistible as his playful yet unflinching sense of self." Sarah Vowell, bestselling author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
"Now I know why John Hodgman was always making up so many facts — the truth of his life is so painful and hilarious. Who can blame him? Get nice and pre-cringed and dive into Vacationland." Patton Oswalt
"I am delighted that Vacationland exists, because it will finally prove something to the world that I have known for years: John Hodgman is a seriously great writer. It’s easy to miss this point about John, as his literary talents are often overshadowed by his well-known and much-loved sense of humor. But this is a man whose mind and heart have always been devoted to the craft of writing. These essays demonstrate his rare gift in a volume that is rich with sensitivity, subtly, grace, and — yes, of course — wit. I absolutely love it." Elizabeth Gilbert
"This book is genuinely it-will-make-you-laugh funny, it is a wistful and sad examination of the impulse that causes us to move to out of the way places and of what John Hodgman found when he went there, and it is always wiser than it seems. If you do not read it, you will be missing out on something special." Neil Gaiman
"I love everything about this hilarious book except the font size...can a fella get a 16 point Helvetica up in this thing." Jon Stewart
"Outside of these pages, you will not find a more tender irony, a gentler wickedness, a more perfect tone, a regard more unflinching and forgiving. At some point, long after I gave up resisting the near-constant impulse to laugh out loud, I came to the realization that with Vacationland, Hodgman has established himself as a memoirist and, unquestionably, a master prose stylist, of rare power and restraint." Michael Chabon
John Hodgman--New York Times bestselling author, semifamous personality, deranged millionaire, increasingly elderly husband, father, and human of Earth--has written a memoir about his cursed travels through two wildernesses: from the woods of his home in Massachusetts, birthplace of rage, to his exile on the coast of Maine, so-called Vacationland, home to the most painful beaches on Earth
Vacationland is also about Hodgman's wandering in the metaphoric wilderness of his forties, those years when dudes especially must painfully stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weirder dads that they are.
Other subjects covered include the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison, and advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.
After three bestselling books of fake facts, Hodgman is finally ready to tell the truth--in the same outlandish, audacious, and inimitable style that has won him fans in every medium he has worked: books, stage, social media, television, and movies.
About the Author
John Hodgman lives in New York City and currently hosts the podcast Judge John Hodgman. Previously, Hodgman was a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a frequent voice on public radio’s This American Life. He also frequently appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His fiction, nonfiction, and genres in between have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, One Story, and The Believer. He has performed at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, as well as on the great stages of Chicago, Philadelphia, and London’s Barbican. His books include The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All.