It was the summer of 1996. Bill Clinton was re-defining our understanding of "sexual relations," 911 was still a phone number, Philip Morris had yet to change its corporate name, the OC was a weekly newspaper, not a Fox TV show, Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls were all the rage . . . and, in America's most famously conservative county, whispers that Nathan Callahan might be the Mark Twain of his generation were growing louder.
can't understand what's happened in America over the past 50 years
without understanding Orange County, and Nathan Callahan now offers
us a delightful way to do that. Suburban Manners takes Orange
County – its politics, land deals, traffic and folkways — seriously,
which is to say, it's funny and outrageous.”
Subversive and thought-provoking, this collection of Callahan's writings offers a lively deconstruction of contemporary culture at its most absurd. The rich and powerful, the sexually challenged, the religiously restricted, William Burroughs’ ghost, Donald Bren, the Clinton Administration, daredevils, dogs, and the dead, all come to life as Callahan encourages the reader to peer into the center of the suburban dream and snicker.
Nathan Callahan, Orange County, California has at long last produced
its own Mark Twain. Witty, pugnacious
”Orange County lives on the edge of history — opulent, bankrupt, cranked-up, young, uncertain, curiously urbane and countrified," Callahan tells us. "It's a house on stilts, a sacred mission, a last resting place, an anonymous beast, a corporate high-rise, a hoot, a riot, a rip-off, and a ridiculous bore.”
Callahan can be deceptively coy and annoyingly candid. His work both beguiles and agitates. A panoramic and captivating portrait that lingers in your mind long after the final page, Suburban Manners speaks to the contradictions and comedy of life itself.
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