HOGS WILD by Ian Frazier

HOGS WILD

Selected Reporting Pieces
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The veteran humorist and reporter for the New Yorker presents a collection of pieces that record his pursuits of wild hogs, hermit crabs, Asian carp, a Styrofoam substitute, and numerous other quarry.

Most of these pieces date from the previous decade and are arranged in an order that reflects not so much chronology as rhythm (shorter ones are sprinkled in among the longer), though some do relate more or less thematically to those surrounding. A piece on beach art, for example, precedes one on Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the beaches and inland territory of Staten Island. Frazier (The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, 2012, etc.), who recently wrote about his journeys in a famously remote land (Travels in Siberia, 2010), ranges here over terrain more familiar to him—Manhattan and environs—although he does venture elsewhere, including Arizona and the Netherlands. In pieces previously published (and now slightly revised) in the New Yorker and other publications, the author gives readers a clear look at his research methods, fearlessness, vast curiosity, clear style, and unusual ability to get away with telling us things that would sound boring and unnecessary from a lesser writer—for instance, the routes and modes of transportation he took to arrive at relevant sites. His approach will remind readers of his great New Yorker colleague John McPhee: he seeks out the quirky and interesting people involved in his story (e.g., others who, like him, were seeking the place in Death Valley where Charles Manson was captured), gives us rich background derived from his deep reading of his subject (like an antidote to heroin overdoses), offers interviews with the principals in his cases (the family in New Jersey who thought a meteorite had punctured their bathroom ceiling), and so on. His celebrated humor glows rather than erupts in these more expository pieces.

Pieces that show Frazier’s ranging curiosity, lucent style, and capacious heart.

Pub Date: June 7th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-374-29852-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




MORE BY IAN FRAZIER

FictionTHE CURSING MOMMY'S BOOK OF DAYS by Ian Frazier
by Ian Frazier
NonfictionTRAVELS IN SIBERIA by Ian Frazier
by Ian Frazier
NonfictionLAMENTATIONS OF THE FATHER by Ian Frazier
by Ian Frazier

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionSILK PARACHUTE by John McPhee
by John McPhee
NonfictionFRESH AIR FIEND by Paul Theroux
by Paul Theroux
NonfictionA HISTORY OF NEW YORK IN 101 OBJECTS by Sam Roberts
by Sam Roberts