True Tales of American Life
By Paul Auster
7/10 from 1 review
An anthology of anecdotes from our American brethren
Purchased by Jo as a thank you for looking after Barney and Rosa and giving her and Tom a whole weekend to themselves, I’d assumed she’d spotted it on my Amazon wishlist…. But it was still there when I looked today.
I’m glad this book made it to me one way or another.
"Each story effectvely revolves around an anecdote" is the most accurate description hidden amidst the somewhat self-promoting and sycophantic reviews on the cover. In this case, it’s worth putting aside first reactions, and not judging a book by its cover. These are personal tales told by a range of real Americans – the people you don’t see reported in the media or portrayed in TV series, sharing stories which clearly have very important part in their lives. Stories about love and loss, about places and people – from the theme groupings you’d expect clichés but you rarely find them.
Instead, you get a glimpse into these people’s past and present, and in some cases that’s enough to form a strong opinion of the teller or others who feature in their tale. All told in a couple of pages. Great for tube journeys!
Powerful, and yet like the impression made by this collection’s cover, how much faith can you place in first impressions? I
was left wondering what else has happened and is happening to the contributors, and those whose stories did not make it past the NPR (the closest the US comes to Radio 4) radio airing.
And bizarrely, it appears not to be available in the US - or at least, not on amazon.com.