Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches
by John Hodgman
To be Published: October 2017

Former deranged millionaire John Hodgman has run out of fun false facts for us and has decided to instead to get very, very real. In a collection of essays that span his migratory patterns across New England, he has pieced together a deeply personal memoir from reflections on his life. We visit western Massachusetts to learn deference to The Dumpmen and the rock-stacking river witches : we travel to the cruel beaches of Maine to contemplate privilege, aging, and the craftsmanship of boats.

At one point, in reference to therapy, he says,

“Just having permission to talk about yourself, to let your dumb thoughts out of your head so you can see them as they hang there in silence, is an illuminating gift.”

and I feel that it resonates the tone of the memoir as a whole. And really, the work of comedians in general. Whether they pour their lives into the stage as stand-up bits, or as characters on satirical news shows, isn’t it all just to help themselves (and presumably the audience) deal with reality in one way or another? So if writing up a memoir is what it takes to process the existential dread that accompanies the relentless passage of time and the unruly nature of facial hair, then onward march, man. You’re helping the rest of us feel less alone. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an entire drawer of mouse poop to continue to ignore.

He Who Must Not Be Named gets it.

5 out of 5 stars: As a follower of his podcast, audiobooks and Netflix special — this is the first time I’ve physically¬†read something of his. If I can even call it reading, this memoir is so true to Hodgman’s voice, I literally heard it in my head. A fun brand of deadpan humor that is both self-deprecating and sincere.

Note: The aforementioned quote was taken from an advanced reader copy and may not be final. So you should probably go buy one in October just to be sure.


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