Another book about entitled Baby Boomers who romanticize how great the 1960s. At the same time they realized the folly of their ways and embraced greeAnother book about entitled Baby Boomers who romanticize how great the 1960s. At the same time they realized the folly of their ways and embraced greed, cocaine, capitalism, global trade and every gizmo, gadget and Apple product they could get their hands on.
I read Turn of the Century by Andersen when it came out and really liked it. I tried Heyday and found it incredibly boring. I think it's pretty much determined that I won't read another book by Andersen after not finishing this one. The characters were very cookie-cutter and I'm bored to death of books which romanticize the 1960s, especially children who grew up in that era. Sorry, James Bond is not that great, not the books and not the movies. There's one story between all of them.
This book is also very condescending to anyone under the age of 40. The narrator believes that kids these days are all going through the same beliefs and motions she did. The obvious example is her tech-obsessed teenaged granddaughter who is a budding politico. She's interested in the International Monetary Fund and how it is a nefarious organization. Most of the conversations between these two characters include the snide little thoughts of grandmother Hollander. Over and over she berates her granddaughter in her head when she makes simple mistakes. It's incredibly annoying to read.
The teenaged characters were fine but the adult characters were such snooty, arrogant jerks that I didn't care to read any further. Did they see themselves for what they were? I didn't care to find out.
I like coming-of-age books. I like political books too. I've read a few about the Weather Underground and political student groups from the late 1960s. This is fiction but it's dull, stupid, obvious fiction that has been done before. Okay, we get it, the 1960s were the most amazing time to be alive and everything afterward was a cynical, regurgitated afterthought. ...more
PJ O'Rourke is a foreign correspondent. He goes to many interesting places in the world; has been to them during interesting times as well. UnfortunatPJ O'Rourke is a foreign correspondent. He goes to many interesting places in the world; has been to them during interesting times as well. Unfortunately, like a lot of older men who were once leftists in their youth and middle-age, Rourke has moved on to being a Libertarian. Dennis Miller is a good example of this happening.
O'Rourke claims to be of the Hunter S. Thompson school of Gonzo Journalism. I see it, sort of, but I think O'Rourke is missing a lot of characteristics to be HST or Gonzo. He isn't a trouble-maker, first of all. He's just an ordinary journalist, just one who is a freelancer. He has some wit but he doesn't aim to shake things up as HST does. I really enjoyed HST's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 1972". This is somewhat similar but not as playful, perhaps because the topic is more serious.
If O'Rourke isn't a Libertarian (he identifies as one), then he's of the 'let's mock everyone, i have no real opinions or beliefs' school of political satirical writing. This is notable when O'Rourke goes to an anti-war protest and proceeds to mock the whole crowd. I'm not a big fan of the soft left and I don't like hippies, but O'Rourke is just a fool. He derides the whole crowd and proceeds to say things like "So-and-so had a sign that said 'Stop Corporate Greed' but was wearing Addidas running shoes". It's pretty much like something off the website www.zombietime.com which just has mocking pictures of stereotypical granola crunchers from the Left. O'Rouke has no concept that we have no choice but to be slaves to these corporations. Maybe this idea is really too complicated for his 'brilliant' wit.
O'Rourke could say something interesting but he doesn't. He never really says anything interesting about Iraq when he's in Kuwait in 2003 when the war started. He has no strong opinions. He's pretty much just a pair of eyes on the ground with a self-inflated ego. He's definitely not Hunter S. Thompson....more