Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Piecesby Ian Frazier Published 07 Jun 2016
|Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces.pdf|
|Publisher||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
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"A master of both distilled insight and utter nonsense" (The Believer), Ian Frazier is one of the most gifted chroniclers of contemporary America. Hogs Wild assembles a decade's worth of his finest essays and reportage, and demonstrates the irrepressible passions and artful digressions that distinguish his enduring body of work.
Part muckraker, part adventurer, and part raconteur, Frazier beholds, captures, and occasionally reimagines the spirit of the American experience. He travels down South to examine feral hogs, and learns that their presence in any county is a strong indicator that it votes Republican. He introduces us to a man who, when his house is hit by a supposed meteorite, hopes to "leverage" the space object into opportunity for his family, and a New York City police detective who is fascinated with rap-music-related crimes. Alongside Frazier's delight in the absurdities of contemporary life is his sense of social responsibility: there's an echo of the great reform-minded writers in his pieces on a soup kitchen, opioid overdose deaths on Staten Island, and the rise in homelessness in New York City under Mayor Bloomberg.
In each dizzying discovery, Hogs Wild unearths the joys of inquiry without agenda, curiosity without calculation. To read Frazier is to become a kind of social and political anthropologist--astute and deeply engaged.
"Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces" Reviews
Excellent set of essays/short articles. I enjoyed his writing much more here than that of the last book I read about traveling through the most northerly inhabited places.
Very good collection of "essays" (mostly magazine articles?) by an author with whom I was previously unfamiliar. Frazier's pieces are all written first-person, usually involving him giving a direct account of the people and places he is reporting on. He tackles a wide variety of subjects from homelessness and opioid addiction to the growing feral hog population. All but one or two were fascinating, despite the seemingly random assortment of topics. Many pieces are based in New York City and he really has a knack for bringing a place to life and making it a character in the narrative. Happy I picked this one up based on a single recommendation!
I consider myself pretty well-read, but until about a month ago, I'd never heard of Ian Frazier. But, by chance I saw his earlier work "Gone to New York: Adventures in the City" in the local library, gave it a read, and was highly impressed with his work, so I added some other titles of his to my list.
He is an excellent writer, and can convey despair and absurdity with equal care.
Essays about homeless populations in New York, wild hogs, horseshoe crabs, etc. Quality writing but he content was generally not that enthralling. Imagine ‘this American life’ with more science.
Normally I like these kinds of books. Ian Frazier is a good writer and I enjoyed some of the pieces.
As a whole, though, it wasn't one of my favorites.
Nature running wild, and
People too, on Staten Island,
Plus hogs and carp and fungus,
all in abundance.