Thursday, December 18, 2008


It's scary how time flies. It's been OVER A YEAR since I added Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation to be Amazon wishlist aka my to-be-read list. Where has time gone???

That being said, I'm not sure this book was worth waiting a year to read. Okay, not that I really waited a year since I kept on putting reading it off, but anyway, here's my thoughts.

This is nonfiction, which isn't my usual fare. I'm not usually too into nonfiction writing but the theme of this book sounded interesting. The author is fascinated by presidential assassinations. She visits all sorts of assassination historical sites and writes about it in a very scattered manner. That's probably my main complaint: the book is divided into just three chapters (the three presidents assassinated) but, in my opinion, could have really used tighter editing and more divided topics instead of just "Abraham Lincoln." It's probably a sign of intelligence but Vowell hops from one subject to the next sooooo quickly. It's as if she has ADD and the mention of some random little word brings up a whole other topic of discussion. While most of it is interesting, it was just too un-cohesive for me to absorb all the details.

She's also fairly liberal, so sarcastic comments about Bush and the current state of American affairs are scattered throughout, which is not something I'm looking for in a book about historical assassinations. That's why I try to avoid politics; it's such a dividing topic--you can really turn people off your work by trumpeting your beliefs. I read to escape everyday life, not to stew about how awful America is.

So while I don't necessarily recommend this book, I wouldn't try to dissuade anyone from reading it. It's just a book I read that had some interesting facts...but honestly, looking back, I still don't have a clear picture of how McKinley and Garfield were assassinated. Oh well, at least I read something nonfiction. Good for me. And I like the cover. It's unique.

Rating: 6.5/10

No comments: