“Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches” By John Hodgman

True Stories from Painful Beaches
By John Hodgman
Narrated by: John Hodgman
Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
Release date: 10-24-17
Publisher: Penguin Audio

I, as with maybe many of you, was introduced to John Hodgman on those Mac vs. PC commercials where Justin Long was a Mac and John Hodgman was a PC.  They were humorous and didn’t make me want to buy a Mac, but they tried.  Maybe because I was more of a fan of the somewhat dry humor of the PC.  Later Hodgman was a regular on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.  That’s when I loved Hodgman’s “White Privilege Humor.”

I knew Hodgman had written some books, but for some reason those books never ended up in my hands.  Well this time I had to make sure this one got consumed.  It was was worth the wait.

I am pretty sure I’m safe in saying this, but John Hodgman’s wit and commentary can be appreciated and enjoyed by anybody.  In fact, the humor lies in the fact that this, or something like it, has happened to everyone.  Hodgman takes us on a tour of his life, making this book almost an autobiography, and ending up in Maine, Vacationland.

We learn about;  his speaking at a Mark Twain Day event at some unnamed school, even though he hasn’t read Mark Twain, and is only being used to make a colleague jealous, how tourism in Maine is dark and dismal, how he accidentally bought a boat (as we all have done), his getting high with a musician friend and making cairns, and hanging out with the lead singer of the Pixies.

The many adventures are presented in a way that you may laugh or just smile but at the same time you may accidentally feel sorry for him.  Either way all the stories are great adventures.  I am so glad this audiobook was read by the author, only he could have delivered the stories with the correct inflections and feelings.

Publisher’s Summary

John Hodgman – New York Times best-selling 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 40s, 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 best-selling 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.

©2017 John Hodgman (P)2017 Penguin Audio