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The Partly Cloudy Patriot

The Partly Cloudy Patriot


The Partly Cloudy Patriot

valutazioni:
4/5 (31 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2003
ISBN:
9780743548137
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

In The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and, in doing so, investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. In this insightful and funny collection of personal stories Vowell -- widely hailed for her inimitable narratives on public radio's This American Life -- ponders a number of curious questions: Why is she happiest when visiting the sites of bloody struggles like Salem or Gettysburg? Why do people always inappropriately compare themselves to Rosa Parks? Why is a bad life in sunny California so much worse than a bad life anywhere else? What is it about the Zen of foul shots? And, in the title piece, why must doubt and internal arguments haunt the sleepless nights of the true patriot?
Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, themes, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration.
The result is a teeming and engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.
Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2003
ISBN:
9780743548137
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, McSweeneys, The Village Voice, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    This is a great audiobook, read by the author herself (with special guests). The essays all seem to have been written after the 2000 election and before 9/11, with one notable exception. This is the first time since the 2000 election that I have been able to bear, let alone enjoy, any sort of political discourse. Of course it helps that Sarah Vowell is very funny and insightful and that her views are very nicely in line with my own.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah Vowell? She is me. Plus, she loves Canada only slightly more than me.
  • (3/5)
    Passably amusing essays on citizenship, American history, and the transition between the Clinton era and the Bush v2 era. I should have liked this better, because the author is clearly very similar to me, but This American Life has never really caught my fancy, and this book uses the same tone.
  • (4/5)
    "I prefer the pen to the sword, so I've always been more of a Jeffersonhead"(stolen and butchered from Amazon) In "The Partly Cloudy Patriot," Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and, in doing so, investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life, wondering why she is happiest when visiting the sites of bloody struggles like Salem or Gettysburg? Why do people always inappropriately compare themselves to Rosa Parks? Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, themes, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is a teeming and engrossing book, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.Given how much I love the West Wing, it is not surprising that I found this light touch introduction to American politics quite interesting, particularly mixed with Vowell's thoughts on life in general (I do rather like thematic memoirs).Vowell mixes her thoughts on historical and modern politics with her personal experiences of politics (such as going to see George W. Bush's inauguration - she considers the Florida hanging chads a travesty) and other topics. I particularly enjoyed her treatise on nerds and nerdiness:"Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know."My book nerdiness is justified.Vowell makes it cool to care: she is outraged when people insist on comparing themselves to Rosa Parks despite being in far less difficult situations, she somehow justifies the continued existence of an underground cafeteria at a national park and carefully examines the pros and cons of twinness. There is an occasional punchline, but mostly the comedy simmers along in a slightly sarcastic and/or self-deprecating tone which bubbles through every now and again.Maybe it was the deckle edges. Maybe it was the presumed knowledge of American history (I know zip about Gettysburg). Maybe I got fed up with Vowell's style. I can't quite put my finger on why this only gets 7/10 rather than 8 or 9, but there you go. I wanted to read this in audio but the London library system didn't have it, so I persevered in print - Teresa's opinion that Vowell's style is much more effective in audio does not surprise me.Side note: I find deckle edges incredibly frustrating. They may look pretty and old-world-ish, but I can't turn the page!!!!
  • (4/5)
    I always thought maybe Sarah Vowell wouldn't suit me, but I quite enjoyed this audiobook of The Partly Cloudy Patriot, a series of essays about politics, history, pop culture, and the points where the three intersect. At first I found Vowell's delivery of her own work a little annoying, but eventually I got into the swing of it and thought the way she read it really added something to the material. She made me laugh out loud repeatedly. I have a Vowell around somewhere in print form, and I don't think it's this title, so I should have some more of her stuff to look forward to.
  • (3/5)
    A series of witty essays from 2000 and 2001. One one or so past 9/11 makes for a sort of eerie foreshadowing of then-upcoming events. Most deal with patriotism and America's place in history, as she sees it. I really enjoy her writing.
  • (2/5)
    Funny little essays, mostly about US history and politics. I really liked Vowell in her Daily Show interview, but these fell flat for me. She's obviously funny and thoughtful and well-informed--but not much. I never giggled out loud, or realized something new, or learned a neat tidbit about history. I learned a bit about Sarah Vowell, and she seems cool--but that's not enough to power an entire collection.
  • (3/5)
    Vowell's essays read like she's in my head doing her TAL schtick. Worth reading, I especially like the one about Al Gore's nerdiness.
  • (3/5)
    A thoughtful and engaging collection of essays on Americana and the sometimes ambivalent relationship that Americans have with it. It's always fun to spend some time with Sarah Vowell.
  • (3/5)
    A thoughtful and engaging collection of essays on Americana and the sometimes ambivalent relationship that Americans have with it. It's always fun to spend some time with Sarah Vowell.
  • (4/5)
    It's not so much Vowell's voice I have trouble listening to, it's her lisp. But after the first 20 minutes or so, it becomes part of her quirky charm. I never forget about it, but it stops bugging me so much. Ditto to her somewhat deadpan delivery. I wouldn't bother actually read any her books, but the audios are fantastic.
  • (2/5)
    I thought I should read SOMETHING non-fiction this year. I thought this was a good choice, since it's an essay collection... wanted to read one of those. And it's funny. Well, it wasn't that funny. Much of this was based on politics, so maybe I just don't find politics very funny. My favorite parts were the personal stories that Vowell told, like having a gym teacher make her dive off the diving board, then having that same teacher for typing class and having to write a story to read aloud. She wrote about the diving board incident. ha. Or the story of her father and the snake. But I won't spoil that here.
  • (4/5)
    Reading Sarah Vowell was like having a conversation with a kindred spirit. I felt better about knowing scads of random facts and feel almost ready to be unapologetic about being a nerd (almost). And I felt comforted that Vowell, someone who obviously knows a great number of facts and has a good handle on history and our place in it, has also confused Sinclair Lewis with Upton Sinclair (I'd been secretly fearing that my mixing up the two once was evidence of my being a dolt. I suppose the fact that Vowell mixed them up doesn't negate that possibility, but it certainly eases my mind).

    I laughed out loud at many passages, like her description of the e-mail discussion group in which she participated during the 2000 presidential campaign: "We were a sort of homegrown talk show, where one person would state an opinion and then everyone else would go McLaughlin Group on his a**."

    And I completely related to her when she likened living in San Francisco as "living under quarantine in some euthanized, J. Crew catalog parallel universe of healthy good looks." Of course, she loves New York City, which I find unreal in its own way, but I don't need to agree with her on everything.

    She also got me thinking about politics, the nature of the media, and about what it means to be an American. I didn't always agree with her, but it was fun to think about these things without getting all bogged down and needing to retreat into network television like I usually do after pondering these topics.
  • (4/5)
    I read this for a book club I'm in. Vowell's books are always enjoyable reads, and this one is no exception. The stuff about the 2000 election takes me back to a bad time in my life, but that's not Vowell's fault. I enjoyed her walking tour of Salem, and her job selling historical maps, and her notes on Teddy Roosevelt. The way she entwines her personal life with history is satisfying and intimate, making me feel like she's telling me the stories over coffee, just the two of us. Recommended, although I'd suggest Assassination Vacation for anyone who's never read Vowell before. Much better book.
  • (4/5)
    A slightly fragmented, autobiographical, and (indeed) patriotic set of essays. "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" does not cover as much creative ground as Vowell's later "Assassination Vacation", but both are very entertaining, especially via audiobook in the author's own voice. I especially liked her description of working for an antique map seller and especially cringed at her account of the early GW Bush era.
  • (4/5)
    After reading "The Wordy Shipmates" and "Assassination Vacation," I was eager to read "The Partly Cloudy Patriot." Although Vowell's trademark wry humor and preoccupation with American history remain the same through these three books, "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" is a collection of essays addressing the author's thoughts on a variety of subjects. The diverse selection of topics, as well as the essay format, make this an excellent selection for reading on the go because I could easily read an essay in a brief amount of time before sprinting to a changed gate or listening to the pilot's announcements.The essays range in topic from Vowell's musings on California to the nerdiness of Al Gore (and how embracing this nerdiness might have changed people's perceptions of him to popular culture (Vowell has an innate distrust of Tom Cruise). All of these essays are light in tone even as she explores the darker sides of her topics. In the title essay, Vowell explores her complex views on the American flag, particularly in the wake of September 11 and the war that followed. She also admits her fascination (and love for) historic sites that are associated with the more tragic moments of our history and goes so far as to recount a conversation she has with a psychologist friend about why she is happiest at places like Salem, Massachusetts.Even though I wholeheartedly enjoy Vowell's musings, I don't know if I would go so far as to recommend it to everyone. Her willingness (and forthrightness) in admitting to and exploring her complicated views on history and America in general would definitely be a turn off for a certain segment of the population. Even some people who share Vowell's love of history might balk at her salty language, liberal ideals, and irreverent treatment of subjects that are usually considered too sacrosanct to be mocked or even questioned. However, for people who don't mind (or revel in) a heaping helping of irreverence mixed in with their history and pop culture, "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" definitely deserves a place on the "To Be Read" list.
  • (4/5)
    More empathetic than her other works of genius with the result of knowing and caring about her even more, like looking in her lunchbox and finding a Diary instead of a Moleskin. Life is funny, the world ain't, works for her.
  • (3/5)
    This collection of essays was mostly "meh" for me. I love Vowell's writing, her humor, and her enthusiasm for history, and I continue to feel that we would be great friends if we were ever to meet it (stalkerish as that sounds), but this book just didn't do it for me the same way that Assassination Vacation and The Wordy Shipmates did. These essays lack a cohesive theme, although they are all tangentially about patriotism, but that proves to be a nebulous topic. Some of the essays are strong; in particular, the title essay, about Vowell's reaction to the remaking of the American political landscape after September 11th, is great. The majority of the essays, however, are lackluster, boring, and not that funny. It's an average book, and from Ms. Vowell, average is a great disappointment. Three stars, mostly for the excellent title essay.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't like this book at all at first. Vowell struck me as just another self-centered Friends wannabe. But as I read on, I grew to love her passion for her country and her world.
  • (3/5)
    This was okay. She gets on my nerves.
  • (5/5)
    I saw Ms. Vowell on The Rachel Maddow show recently and immediately knew I had to read a book of hers. There was just something about her super smart, spunky attitude that intrigued me. This book was no disapointment. It's wonderful. That same smart-ass attitude couple with real smarts comes across perfectly. The book reminds me of the tv show, Seinfeld. It's a book about nothing, yet it's really about everything.
  • (4/5)
    I love Sarah Vowell's literary voice. I really enjoyed her dry humor in each and every one of her anecdotes about everything from history, to politics, to life experiences as a twin.
  • (5/5)
    Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite writers. Her essays are hilarious in the deadest of deadpan, and yet still deeply moving.
  • (3/5)
    Sarah Vowell's essays about our country, our history, and our culture are witty and insightful. I liked some better than others. Particular favorites were "Ike Was a Handsome Man" about presidential libraries and "Rosa Parks, C'est Moi" about some people's audacity to compare themselves to Rosa Parks. Reading this book made me want to travel all around the country and visit national parks and small museums about very specific histories.
  • (5/5)
    A collection of Sarah Vowell?s amusing and inspiring essays about patriotism, its good and bad sides.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book a lot. I've been a Sarah Vowell fan for a number of years, having first heard her reading her own stories on NPR's This American Life. Her unusual voice and slight lisp give her a distinctive sound that somehow endears me to her words even more.In reading these essays and short stories about life in America, I frequently found myself chuckling out loud and thinking about my own take on what it means to be a citizen in this vast and varied country. I especially appreciate Ms. Vowell's ability to cherish her iron-clad, lefty convictions, while writing with love and tenderness about family members whose convictions land solidly on the other end of nearly every spectrum. It takes a person of strength and humility to accept and even love people whose views fight against your own at every turn.I didn't love every piece in this book, but I enjoyed most of them a great deal. Also, I loved that each essay was a bite-sized morsel, easily polished off on the train to and from work. It's so satisfying to read something to the point of completion, without the mental, emotional, or time commitment of more than 45 minutes at a shot.Give Sarah Vowell a try. You'll like her!
  • (5/5)
    I've enjoying the work of Vowell lately. It's fun to back and listen to her PRI broadcasts on This American Life.
  • (5/5)
    i love it! here voice is so distinct and on target!
  • (5/5)
    Witty musings on politics, history, and patriotism from This American Life darling Sarah Vowell. Sarah Vowell is the closest to a female David Sedaris I've found thus far; it's as though someone took David Sedaris's self-deprecating wit, mixed it with Eddie Izzard's knowledge of history, and then set the combination loose on your average band geek. Or something. I love Sarah Vowell's extreme nerdiness, and this was a very enjoyable book.