Train Tracks: American Stories for the Holidays

Michael Savage. Morrow, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-221084-5
This collection, not just of stories but also of topical essays and short reflections, takes readers from conservative radio host Savage's nostalgically recalled childhood in the 1940s and 1950s to his often sour opinions of the current state of the world. In his more charming moments, he remembers when cigarette ads were everywhere, cars resembled "the buxom women on the screens in theaters throughout America," and a pair of "electric blue saddle-stitched pants" was his most prized possession. Savage certainly has a knack for memorable images–a "geometry teacher in high school with only two fingers on his right hand"–and titles–"Fat Pat & Tippy the Dog." Less interesting when decrying today's "soul-deprived world" of "kids with their hats on backwards," elsewhere he's downright alienating to nearly every conceivable hue of political opinion, whether jabbing at America's use of military drones or taking aim at "liberal American 'Buddhists.'" Readers who know what they're in for with Savage, who once gleefully described himself as being "to the right of Rush and to the left of God," may be able to enjoy his skillful array of colorful characters and stories. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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