Book Rating (9)
Narrator Rating (3)

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

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John Hodgman

5 Hours 24 Minutes

Penguin Audio

October 2017

Audio Book Summary

“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.

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Reviews

  • J Wright

    Everything I had hoped for as a fan and more. Touching, funny and real.

    Book Rating

  • David D

    The only memoir I've ever not hated, Vacationland is consistently funny enough that it justifies the only book review I've ever written. If Hodgman was an actual-famous real celebrity, and not simply a book-famous fake judge, this would be a bestseller. His narration is the best. I will be genuinely disappointed if this is the last mostly true nonfiction book he puts out. Go ahead and read it, dummy.

    Book Rating

  • John R

    A very enjoyable book, always a pleasure to listen to John Hodgman

    Book Rating