In this unconventional, nonsequential, generational autobiography, AKA cultural memoir, Moore, a professor of English at Ohio University, describes growing up as a child of the 1950s. Panic characterized his youth, as he watched the symbols of safety and security on television—Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best—while his real world fell apart. His mother had left his often-inebriated father, but couldn't handle raising the children herself. Paranoia was the theme of his teen years, as JFK and King were assassinated; the draft and the Vietnam War drove young men to extremes; and characters like Charlie Manson, Squeaky Fromme, Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley Jr. all took aim at public figures. Moore's own paranoia was only heightened by using LSD and smoking dope while tooling around in his VW Beetle. Miraculously, desire began to overtake panic; he discovered a passion for writing, which has focused him ever since. Moore lays all this out in a series of free-form, almost playful essays; only there's something serious here, too, as he realizes our history seems to repeat itself: the Patriot Act sounds like 1984 and Iraq feels like Vietnam all over again. In the end, Moore (The Accidental Buddhist) takes readers on a quirky, entertaining joyride. (Mar.)
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"Hear that? That is the sweet sonic boom of the Baby Boom barrier being broken by this elegant flight of essays launched from the steely hand of Captain Dinty W. Moore in his remarkable memoir "Between Panic and Desire". Impossible, they said, to reveal this precisely that sense of time, place, and even space. Listen: Read, read, read. Words away! That's it. Exactly. Like that."---Michael Martone, author of "Michael Martone: Fictions" "Dinty W. Moore's prose is crisp and clean, his insights sparkle with biting clarity and magnetic charm. This is an unusual, joyful and compelling memoir."---Lee Gutkind, author of "Almost Human: Making Robots Think" and editor of "Creative Nonfiction" "This is a refreshing and invigorating book, taking the predictable memoir form in new directions---playfully, sincerely, and intelligently. This is a terrific book."---Bret Lott, author of "Jewel"See all Editorial Reviews
This is an honest memoir. It's loaded with humor and tragedy and triumph, all under-played.
Combining the art of being funny, tragic, and victorious with convincing honesty is... Read more
Dinty W. Moore dismisses the expectations of his chosen genre to write a thoroughly intriguing and entertaining collection of personal essays. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Kelsey
Between Panic and Desire is a cleverly written memoir that takes an honest look into the mind and life of Dinty W. Moore (or perhaps an entire generation). Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by C. R. S.
Moore finds a way to balance humor, sentiment, and information in a way that never overpowers the reader. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Sott
Between Panic and Desire, by Dinty W. Moore is an interesting collage of the author's life experiences mixed in with familiar faces from pop culture and history. Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by Trista Jarvis
My former English professor has given the reader a peek into the convoluted journey of life -- thus compelling the reader to ask, Is that all there is? Give us more! Read morePublished on June 26, 2010 by JamieB
This is probably the most refreshing and inventive works of creative nonfiction. The stories interact with one another in creating a wonderful, compelling narrative. Read morePublished on September 16, 2008 by Jeffrey Grieneisen