LAND'S END: A Walk Through Provincetown

Michael Cunningham, Author . Crown $16 (176p) ISBN 978-0-609-60907-1

Cunningham (The Hours) takes the reader on a leisurely, idiosyncratic tour of the fabled town at the tip of Cape Cod. He makes the rounds of his favorite haunts, from the beaches, marshes and dunes to businesses like the halfheartedly modernized Adams Pharmacy, which has a soda fountain from the 1940s; the Marine Specialties store, "a repository of the overlooked, the lost, the surplus, the irregular, the no-longer-needed, and the outmoded"; and the Atlantic House, a bar that is "sexy in a damp, well-used way." The fish and whales that live in the ocean around the town have a place in his excursion, as do the dogs, cats, skunks, opossums and occasional coyotes that wander the streets. People interest him most, however—the old-timer who sits in his yard, shouting, "Hello hello hello," to everyone who passes by; the disheveled man who walks the main street night and day; and the more famous eccentrics, the "refugees, rebels, and visionaries" who have been coming to the town for nearly 400 years. There is also a large gay population, and Cunningham is especially fascinated by this community's flamboyant individuals, who add color even to the local A&P. His quirky guide, part of the Crown Journeys series, presents a very personal view of Provincetown, but at the same time it manages to convey the "peculiar, inscrutable intensity" characterizing the love so many people have for the place. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/20/2002
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
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