The Best American Nonrequired Reading

Dave Eggers, Editor, Beck, Introduction by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $27.5 (330p) ISBN 978-0-618-57047-8
The fourth installment in the ubiquitous Eggers' series collecting offbeat magazine writing chosen by Bay Area teenagers underscores the continued blurring between fiction and nonfiction in contemporary American writing. Of 24 selections, 21 are written in first person, and much of the book has the feeling of memoir. Of the three exceptions, two are forgettable, but ""Lost Boys,"" by Jeff Gordiner, is a fascinating piece of reportage (for Details) on the hundreds of young men weeded out of polygamous families along the Utah border, presumably to leave more wives for their elders. Other first-rate nonfiction pieces include Al Franken's account of his USO tour of Iraq (Mother Jones), Tish Durkin's profile of a mercenary soldier (Rolling Stone) and William T. Vollmann's gonzo search for Chinese tunnels in Mexico (Harper's). The fiction is more uneven, but varied stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, Molly McNett and Douglas Trevor make vivid impressions, and two, by Stephen Elliott and Rattawutt Lapcharoensap explore the older-and-younger-brother relationship, a subject dear to Eggers. This year, Eggers puts the cartoon and ""filler"" material into his forward, which is skippable (except for the young editors' self-written profiles), as is the short introduction by musician Beck.
Reviewed on: 10/03/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 353 pages - 978-0-618-90276-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1794-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-618-25810-9
Paperback - 407 pages - 978-0-618-34123-8
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-618-34122-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-99749-2
Paperback - 327 pages - 978-0-618-24696-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-25613-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-618-49743-0
Paperback - 353 pages - 978-0-618-90281-1
Hardcover - 379 pages - 978-0-618-90282-8
Paperback - 413 pages - 978-0-547-24160-9
Paperback - 379 pages - 978-0-618-90283-5
Paperback - 377 pages - 978-0-618-57051-5
Hardcover - 377 pages - 978-0-618-57050-8
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-92522-8
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-544-10550-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-547-84052-9
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-0-547-59596-2
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X