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Only Love Can Break Your Heart Paperback – May 26, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
"My story has something to do with our national gift for self-delusion and for making ourselves up from scratch, which is much the same thing as believing in the future," Samuels writes, noting younger generations' struggles to find a sense of self when traditional mainstays like family dinners are less prominent.
To suffice, we grasp for concrete systems to help us feel in control -- it may be a Florida greyhound bettor who feels invincible in the face of chance. Or Oregonian anarchists who think they're making a difference when reality suggests otherwise. Or a Woodstock 1999 organizer who's lost sight of what really matters so much that music and togetherness get trumped by four-dollar water bottles and corporate detachment.
The truth is, Samuels suggests, that in trying to define ourselves amid the tumult of modern America, we all get lost in the mire to some extent. "The fact that we lie like crazy while pretending to always tell the truth is such a common narrative strategy in American literature and American lives that we frequently confuse our wishful imaginings with reality." Or, as Neil Young says in the song that lends this book its name, "I have a friend I've never seen/ He hides his head inside a dream..."
Samuels' writing has an intelligent, approachable eloquence that brings the traditions of literary journalism to a new level.Read more ›
I can't think of a writer to compare Samuels too and I say that as a compliment. He is very original. If I was pressed, I would compare him to a more intellectual - and darker - Chuck Klosterman. There are some fascinating essays in this book, esp. the pieces on Woodstock 1999, the Super Bowl in Detroit, and the leftis lunatics in Eugene.
One minor quibble with the book is his personal essays. This is the reason I can't give 5 stars to this book. With all due respect to Samuels, I really don't care about his failed relationships or why he decided to move to Miami to be with some gal. These essays belong in another book and they detract from his investigative pieces. But they are a small portion of the book.
Overall, this is a very good book. I truly hope Samuels keeps writing articles, as a voice like his is much needed in contemporary non-fiction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clean, precise prose that flow actively into the next. A great collection of stories that I commonly reference back to for reassurance that I'm not the only crazy person trying to... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Connie Shannon
This is a wonderful anthology of insightful observations on phenomena and special people of our times, from Woodstock. dog racing to Stevie Wonder, and much much more. Read morePublished on January 4, 2010 by L.A. reader
Could not get into his choice of topics nor writing style. Tried this as a book club book and none of the members could get even half way through. Read morePublished on August 26, 2009 by Maori Jo
David Samuels has given me many hours of great reading through his books - most recently "The Runner" and "Love can Break Your Heart" - and also via his many magazine writings, and... Read morePublished on July 29, 2009 by charles dickens