True Stories from Painful Beaches
by John Hodgman (2017)
Vacationland collects real life wanderings, and through them 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.
This is a set of incidents and stories from John Hodgman’s life. The first half, covering his early years is interesting and amusing. However the second half feels a but forced and searching for the humorous elements of his (self admitted) white privileged life.
By any account John Hodgman is successful, however his humour really works when it’s not about himself, but in the gentle mocking of others. This is best heard on his ‘Judge John Hodgman’ podcast. While I found this a fun read (mainly in the prose and insights) it’s not essential. Check out his podcast.