‘Vacationland’ by John Hodgman

I love everything about this hilarious book except the font size . . . can a fella get a 16 point Helvetica up in this thing.

—John Stewart

Comedian/podcaster John Hodgman’s new book, Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches, is a great read if you’re a dad or pretty much any guy over about 25 who enjoys reading something funny and introspective:

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.

I like what Jason Kottke had to say:

I don’t know about wiser, but weird dad with a failing body is pretty much right on the money.

Also, the cover is designed by Aaron Draplin of Field Notes which adds another layer of cool.

Vacationland is available in the following formats:

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