Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America (Google eBook)

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Random House LLC, May 11, 2011 - Travel - 384 pages
17 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

"In an era of jet tourism, [Jonathan Raban] remains a
traveler-adventurer in the tradition of  .  .  .  Robert Louis Stevenson."
--The New York Times Book Review

In 1782 an immigrant with the high-toned name J. Hector St. John de Crčvecoeur--"Heartbreak" in English--wrote a pioneering account of one European's transformation into an American. Some two hundred years later Jonathan Raban, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, arrived in Crčvecoeur's wake to see how America has paid off for succeeding generations of newcomers. The result is an exhilarating, often deliciously funny book that is at once a travelogue, a social history, and a love letter to the United States.
        In the course of Hunting Mr. Heartbreak, Raban passes for homeless in New York and tries to pass for a good ol' boy in Alabama (which entails "renting" an elderly black lab). He sees the Protestant work ethic perfected by Korean immigrants in Seattle--one of whom celebrates her new home as "So big! So green! So wide-wide-wide!"--and repudiated by the lowlife of Key West.  And on every page of this peerlessly observant work, Raban makes us experience America with wonder, humor, and an unblinking eye for its contradictions.

"Raban delivers himself of some of the most memorable prose ever written
about urban America." --Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times

"When Raban describes America and Americans, he is unfailingly witty
and entertaining." --Salman Rushdie


From the Trade Paperback edition.
  

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Excellent, captivating writing style, rich vocabulary. - Goodreads
Really dense but eloquent prose. - Goodreads
best travel writer i have read - Goodreads

Review: Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America (Vintage Departures Edition)

User Review  - Elaine - Goodreads

Some travel writing, like some travel, consists of the experience of going from one place to the other by train or car, seeing much of the terrain through a window. It is entirely possible to do this ... Read full review

Review: Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America (Vintage Departures Edition)

User Review  - Ensiform - Goodreads

A brilliant “travel” book, written in the razor-sharp, accurate, wry prose of an adventurer and scholar. Raban lives in New York, takes in Macy's, ponders the peculiar American hold on airplane travel ... Read full review

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Contents

ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN
ALSO BY JONATHAN RABAN
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Jonathan Raban was born in 1942, educated at Hull University, and was for a time a lecturer at UCW Aberystwyth and the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer in 1969.
His books include 'Soft City' (1973), 'Arabia Through the Looking Glass' (1979), 'Old Glory' (1981, Heinemann Award, RSL Thomas Cook Award), 'Foreign Land' (1985), 'Coasting' (1986), 'For Love and Money' (1987), and 'Hunting Mister Heartbreak' (1990, Thomas Cook Award).
He has sailed alone round Britain and has spent much time afloat on the coastal seas of Europe. He is now living in Seattle, where he sails a Swedish ketch on the rim of the North Pacific.

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