Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

Although his career as a bestselling author and 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 three 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); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.

Vacationland collects these real life wanderings, and through them you learn of the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, and which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison. There is also some advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.

Though wildly, Hodgmaniacally funny as usual, it is also a poignant and sincere account of one human facing his forties, those years when men in particular must stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weird dads that they are.

Title:Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780735224803
Format Type:

About John Hodgman

Before he went on television, JOHN HODGMAN was a humble writer, expert, and Former Professional Literary Agent living in New York City. In this capacity, he has served as the Humor Editor for the New York Times Magazine, Occasional Flight vs. Invisibility Consultant on “This American Life,” Advice Columnist for McSweeney’s, Comic Book Reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and a Freelance Jo


    Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This book is a bit uneven. John Hodgman reminds me of your single uncle (probably your dad's youngest brother) that you can't escape at Thanksgiving, who thinks of himself as a bit more interesting in...

  • Hannah

    John Hodgman gave me an ARC of his new book the other day at the library, and I pretty much immediately devoured it. I found it both genuinely funny and funnily genuine, and like the humor of his podc...

  • Allen Adams

    http://www.themaineedge.com/buzz/a-ta...Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.Not in the case of John Hodgman, though. His latest book – “Vacationland: True Stories of Painful Beaches” – i...

  • Matthew Quann

    I found it nearly impossible not to compare John Hodgman's essays with those of David Sedaris. Hodgman seems inspired, in part, by Sedaris' wry observations and dry humour, even if he is never able to...

  • Kathy

    Plainly put, John Hodgman's Vacationland is great. It positively exudes Hodgman-yness. Yes, I had to check the cover repeatedly to make sure it hadn't grown an alarming goatee/mustache combination! St...

  • Julie

    Writer, humorist, podcaster, PC guy, and Daily Show contributor John Hodgman is back, and he's telling (almost) the whole truth. In this collection of funny and reflective essays, Hodgman explores the...

  • Portia

    What. A. Delight.  I have been watching John Hodgman in various things for years but didn't really know anything about him so this was so much fun to read.  The essays varied in topic and I really g...

  • John Tankersley

    As we age, we become more sentimental. As he ages, so goes John Hodgman's writings. A memoir of a man struggling to keep his privilege in check from a man who grew up as the beneficiary of an unequal ...

  • Gaelen

    I listened to this as an audiobook, which I highly recommend, because Hodgman's delivery adds a lot. It's the first book he's written that's an actual memoir, and it's terrific. It's not just funny, b...

  • Troy

    As a weird dad myself, I am the prime market for Vacationland but I can honestly say that this book connected with me deeply and in unexpected ways. It is a brilliantly disguised meditation on aging, ...