Although his career as a bestselling author & 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 3 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); & the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.
Hodgman strikes a delicately calibrated, seemingly artless balance of pathos & humor. A memoir, of any sort, by a man whose success as an actor, podcaster, & writer allows him to own not just one, but two vacation homes, seems fated to evoke resentment, but though he may be fulfilling his “Caucasian class destiny in the most loathsome way possible,” the book never feels braggy. Hodgman is self-deprecating, disarming, & funny, & readers will leave Vacationland feeling that the privilege was theirs.
“I love everything about this hilarious book except the font size . . . can a fella get a 16 point Helvetica up in this thing.” —Jon Stewart