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Few narrators could sound complimentary when calling Al Gore a "big honking nerd," but Vowell (Take the Cannoli), a self-proclaimed nerd, succeeds in doing just that while reading her collection of thoughtful, humorous essays on politics, patriotism and Tom Cruise (among other topics). Vowell's thin, reedy voice and halting delivery take some getting used to, but she settles into a comfortable groove by the end of the first tape, when she relates what she's learned from visiting places like Gettysburg and Witch City (otherwise known as Salem): no matter what your troubles are, "it could be worse." This is followed by an upbeat tune by They Might Be Giants, who composed the music for this audio. It's hard to resist a catchy, comical verse like, "You asked for baked potato/and they gave you fries/but that's not as sad now/is it/as the day the music died," but it's even more difficult to resist Vowell's obvious passion for history, for Al Gore and for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The full plate of special guests-including Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert and Michael Chabon-make token contributions: Colbert does an admirable impersonation of Gore and the oddly chosen O'Brien attempts to fill Abraham Lincoln's shoes. In the end, however, it is Vowell's self-deprecating wit and earnest delivery that will win over listeners.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Adult/High School-These essays and commentaries from Vowell's NPR radio appearances and other sources are curmudgeonly, critical, liberal, and, often, laugh-out-loud funny. The commentator, a self-described history nerd, wanders across the spectrum of American life from the theme-park feeling of Salem, MA, where she purchased a Witch's Crossing shot glass, to the glories of Carlsbad Caverns and the Underground Luncheonette. She belongs to a political listserv that was aghast at the results of the 2000 election, yet, joining several of the members on a road trip to protest the Inauguration, she ended up weeping as she sang the "Star-Spangled Banner." Her commitment to America and her dismay about the current direction of the government, both before and after September 11, are strongly stated, but her wit and slightly quirky outlook make reading her book a pleasure. Teens, regardless of their political leanings, will enjoy the pop-culture connections and even learn some history while smiling at her delivery. This title will work well for assignments on essay writing and even provide material for monologues.
Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The style is chatty, friendly, and thoughtful at the same time. Her description of learning to drive is priceless.Published 16 days ago by Reader Anonymous
Bottom Line First:
Sarah Vowell's collection of essays, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, published in 2002 represent her voice as she was coming into her 30's. Read more
Loved this collections of essays for its humor, ken observations and the perspective that can best be described as fey, veering and a look askance at America.Published 4 months ago by Kate McKee
Had me laughing out loud several times. She knows how to take our often painful political situations and bring out the absurd in them. So much better to laugh than to cryPublished 4 months ago by Andrea Lee
Sarah Vowell is one of the great living essayists. I found myself
constantly laughing and shouting out, "Yes!"
I'm disappointed that there are a few typos. The most glaring typo is the repeat of one of the essays. Overall, the Vowell's tone and observations are entertaining. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LC