“I love everything about this hilarious book except the font size.” —Jon Stewart
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We loved the tightly wound comic persona John Hodgman developed on The Daily Show. But Vacationland shows us the real Hodgman…and we like him even more. Built around recollections of childhood road trips and summers spent in coastal Maine with his wife and kids, Hodgman’s self-deprecating essays tackle topics like the indignity of trying to be a cool dad and his suspicion that everything at the beach can kill him. Affectionate, endearingly neurotic, and unashamedly nerdy, he comes off like the best next-door neighbor ever.