2007: #130 – Idyll Banter (Chris Bohjalian)
Book #130 was Idyll Banter by Chris Bohjalian. The back of the book reads:
In March 1986, while living in Brooklyn, Chris Bohjalian and his wife were cab-napped on a Saturday night and taken on a forty-five-minute joy ride in which the driver ignored all traffic lights and stop signs. Around midnight he deposited the young couple on a near-deserted street, where police officers were about to storm a crack house. Bohjalian and his wife were told to hit the ground for their own protection. While lying on the pavement, Bohjalian’s wife suggested that perhaps it was time to move to New England.
Months later they traded in their co-op in Brooklyn for a century-old Victorian house in Lincoln, Vermont (population 975), and Bohjalian began chronicling life in that town in a wide variety of magazine essays and in his newspaper column, "Idyll Banter."
These pieces, written weekly for twelve years and collected here for the first time, serve as a diary of both this writer’s life and how America has been transformed in the last decade. Rich with idiosyncratic universals that come with being a parent, a child, and a spouse, Chris Bohjalian’s personal observations are a reflection of our own common experience.
I really enjoyed this collection of articles/essays/whatever you want to call them. I’m a fan of "author’s notes", as I think they give an idea of the author’s true voice — what they’re really like. After reading this, I feel like Bohjalian is someone that you could sit down and chat with and completely relate to. Some of it may be that I grew up in a small town like Lincoln, so I can draw some familiar comfort from the stories. I think that reading this will make me read his future books with a different eye.
Page count: 240 | Approximate word count: 65,718