» » Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands
Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands by Tad Friend
ISBN: 0679647058
ISBN13: 978-0679647058
Author: Tad Friend
Book title: Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands
Other Formats: lit lrf docx lrf
Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (January 2001)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1886 kb
Size ePub version: 1278 kb
Size fb2 version: 1524 kb
Category: Asia


Books reviews
This collection of articles from various periodicals came out in 2001, so it reflects the 90'es. Quite a few of the articles have lost their fizz... There are three, on the other hand, worth reading even today:

The case for middlebrow - is a thoughtful reflection on the divergence between entertainment and instruction in art (and I may add, in non-fiction as well). When Horkheimer and Adorno opine: "moments of happiness are without laughter...delight is austere." one knows that something is amiss in the world of highbrow. I can tell - non-fiction written in the 70es still conveyed enthusiasm and passion. Modern stuff is ruminations on sawdust.

White trash nation - is even more cogent today than it was then (the author did not like Bill Clinton). "True trash is unsocialized and violent." White trash behavior is violent, because the person "has nothing to lose". Much of political discourse today is"white trash" - its intensity betrays the inner conviction that losing the Republic would not matter.

Lost in Mongolia - is simply an extraordinary story. Out there, in Mongolia, there is a grave, slowly vanishing, and in any case far from any marking. This is its story.
Tad Friend's gift as a journalist comes through on every page. Each piece in this collection has a fresh and original point of view. And Friend is a pleasure to read. His writing is smart, lucid and thoughtful. And he can be exceptionally funny.
The travel story, Lost in Mongolia, is a gripping, sad journey. White Trash Nation is as hilarious as it is disturbing. And the chapters on Hollywood have forever altered the way I view television.
Someone gave me "Lost in Mongolia" as a gift, assuming that my love for the New Yorker would translate into an appreciation of Mr Friend's work. But Mr. Friend writes in that hipper-than-thou style so fashionable among young journalists these days that, frankly, I loathe. There is a self important smugness to Friend's writing that suggests a certain barrenness of Spirit, no matter how fertile the terrain he visits. As for the celebrity profile--it is a sub-genre characterized by a potent mix of fawning and gotcha sensationalism. If this is the new generation New Yorker writer, color me bereft. I'll stick with older writers for whom the life of the mind has a deeper reasonance.
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