Driving Home: An American Scrapbook (Paperback)Jonathan Raban (author)
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For over thirty years Jonathan Raban has written about people and places in transition or on the margins, of journeys undertaken and destinations never quite reached; of isolation and alienation, but also of what it means to belong, to feel rooted.
Driving Home, a collection of pieces spanning two decades, charts its course through American history and recent world events. Raban writes with an outsider's eye for the public and the personal, about political, social, and cultural affairs, and about literature, his tone intimate but never nostalgic, and always fresh. Variously frank, witty, and provocative, Driving Home is part essay collection, part diary - and wholly engrossing.
`A passionate history buff and a skilled raconteur . . . it's a fine ride' Sunday Times
`A fabulous collection' Observer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 624
Weight: 671 g
Dimensions: 203 x 127 x 35 mm
"Raban stands detached from cant and superficiality, which is perhaps prerequisite for the striking originalities and apercus with which he leavens ["Driving Home," which] functions excellently as a smorgasbord. Sampling some of everything, readers may gladly follow Raban for layers beneath the surfaces of his subjects, becoming immersed in such matters as the history of landscapes, the perils and pleasures of sailing, and assessments of authors (Raban's book reviews are outstanding exercises in the genre) . . . A delight." --Gilbert Taylor, "Boo
"A collection of essays about America and Americana . . . full of ideas that move through the language with the grace of a well-captained sailboat . . . Throughout, Raban reveals the traits that have long endeared him to his readers: a curiosity about the quirkiness of people and places, a ferocious love for the land, an elegance (but never pretentiousness) of style, self-deprecation, and an unusual ability to inhabit the imaginations of his interlocutors."
"A delight . . . [Raban] stands detached from cant and superficiality, which is perhaps a prerequisite for the striking originalities and apercus with which he leavens every article."
"It takes a passionate history buff to note how many of America's virtues and vices have been present since independence and before, and a skilled raconteur to make us feel that passion."
"--The Sunday Times"
"Teems with acerbic humor, but it contains, too, a wealth of astute cultural an
"This Englishman in America is weird, unfettered, scruffy and alive....Mr. Raban's best writing, which is most of it, is succulent under a crusty exterior, like a fish baked in salt. His stuff is yet more proof that Britons are better travel writers and essayists than Americans: drier, funnier, more argumentative."
--Dwight Garner, "The New York Times"
"Raban knows that the best essayist trusts in drift and digression and habitually adds a literary trill. He is an erudite but adaptable companion, tart and genial, promiscuous in experience yet reliable in temperament....He conjures with his new home, with the Pacific Northwest, with history, poetry, geography, catastrophe...subjects Raban circumnavigates with finesse, shrugging off the obvious and regularly landing us on a shore we can't quite glimpse from here."
--Stacy Schiff, "The New York Times Book Review"
"A collection of essays about America and Americana . . . full of ideas that move through the language w
"Raban [here] showcases his craftsmanship as a writer and his bona fides as an intellectual. Every word is impeccably chosen, every metaphor meticulously selected.... [His] virtues are a writer are virtually unrivaled when it comes to explaining our relationships with landscapes and nature, and he's unrivaled, period, when describing water in all its forms, be it a placid puddle or a storm-swirled sea." --Phil Campbell, "Columbia Journalism Review"
""Driving Home "could easily have been titled "The Jonathan Raban Reader," as the brisk, smartly crafted pieces are just that representative of [his] long and illustrative writing life....By combining them in one volume, Raban offers a lively stew of topics, themes that most interest the British citizen turned Seattleite, subjects that get him the most excited and riled....Readers have long been drawn to Raban for the elegance of his language and the eloquence of his thought and can expect to find the same in these essays." --Deboraha
"The central work of Raban's life might be described as an effort to determine what America is like ... But along with that, the reader notes, big water draws from Raban a kind of genius for natural description." --Thomas Powers, "The New York Review of Books"
"The Northwest should feel itself lucky to have found a writer as fabulous--filled to overflowing with stories, meaning, and insight--as the landscape itself demands ... It has been one of the great pleasures of the past twenty years to watch Raban discover this landscape for himself ... to see [it] and its people with a clarify unmatched by most natives." --Charles Petersen, "Barnes and Noble" review
"Raban [here] showcases his craftsmanship as a writer and his bona fides as an intellectual. Every word is impeccably chosen, every metaphor meticulously selected.... [His] virtues are a writer are virtually unrivaled when it comes to explaining our relationships with landscapes and nature, and he's unrivaled, perio
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