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Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's War Against the Gap, and Other Adventures With the Totally Lost Tribes of America

Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's War Against the Gap, and Other Adventures With the Totally Lost Tribes of America

Written by Evan Wright

Narrated by Paul Boehmer


Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's War Against the Gap, and Other Adventures With the Totally Lost Tribes of America

Written by Evan Wright

Narrated by Paul Boehmer

ratings:
4/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 28, 2009
ISBN:
9781400182305
Format:
Audiobook

Description

From his work as a reporter at Hustler magazine to his National Magazine Award-winning writing for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, Evan Wright has always had an affinity for outsiders-what he calls "the lost tribes of America." The previously published pieces in this collection chart a deeply personal journey, beginning with his stark but sympathetic portrayals of sex workers in Porn Valley, through his raw portrait of a Hollywood überagent-turned-war documentarian and hero of America's far right. Along the way, Wright encounters runaway teens earning corporate dollars as skateboard pitchmen; radical anarchists plotting the overthrow of corporate America; and young American troops on the hunt for terrorists in the combat zones of the Middle East. His subjects are people for whom the American dream is either just out of grasp or something they've chosen to reject altogether. Sometimes frightening, usually profane, and often darkly comic, Hella Nation is Evan Wright's meticulously observed tour of the jagged edges of all those other Americas hiding in plain sight amid the nation's malls and gated communities. This collection also includes an all-new, autobiographical introductory essay by the author.
Publisher:
Released:
May 28, 2009
ISBN:
9781400182305
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Evan Wright is the author of Generation Kill, now the basis of the HBO miniseries for which he served as co-writer. Wright earned his degree in medieval and Renaissance studies from Vassar College, an education he soon put work at Hustler magazine, where he served as "Entertainment Editor." In the late 1990's he began writing feature articles for Rolling Stone. At Rolling Stone Wright focused on youth subcultures, from radical environmentalists to skinheads to sorority girls. His work is characterized by immersion in his subjects' worlds, detailed reporting and dark humor. After 9/ll he pitched his editor on the idea that since the US military was "basically another youth subculture," he ought to be writing about it. He has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards, one for reporting on the war in Iraq in Rolling Stone and the other for a profile published in Vanity Fair. Generation Kill received numerous awards, including the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times book award, a PEN USA literary prize and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's award for "Best History of the Marine Corps." He is currently at work on two books for Putnam: Hella Nation, a collection of essays and reporting to be published in the Spring of 2009 The Seed, a reported memoir of brainwashing to be published in the Summer of 2010.


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Reviews

What people think about Hella Nation

3.8
5 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I went into this without having any idea what it would be about. Thankfully I really liked it. Each essay was a glimpse into parts of America I hadn't previously known anything about. This kind of stuff makes for great conversation starters and it also can be very eye-opening. Many of the essays covered complete scumbags (like Pat Dollard) who had gotten rich and/or famous using different cons, scams and selling hatred. It was always fascinating that these people never ended up in jail, but were often harassed by the law and would at times end up completely broke and dying, only to recover and get rich again.It's unfortunate that many of the essays kind of leave you hanging, but considering that the people are still alive, I guess their stories haven't finished yet.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fascinating insight into a range of often bizarre characters within American society - Evan Wright himself notwithstanding for his ability to ride along in some very strange scenarios that would have seen any truly sane person making polite excuses like, "I think I can hear my mum calling." Wright is an engaging writer with either that sheer dumb luck that is at the core of most good journalism of simply being in the right place at the right time or a real skill at finding something interesting in everyone and everything.
  • (3/5)
    I won this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.I found this book to be a good read, but it did not live up to the standards I was expecting. Evan Wright takes you deep into the lives of all of the different and truly interesting "sub-cultures" of his subjects, and his casual way of writing makes you feel as if you are in a personally conversation with the author. However, I felt as though I was left wanting more at the end of each chapter/story. I was expecting a more encompassing view into these subcultures, but felt as if the author was able to just touch the tip of the iceberg. I did enjoy the writing style, though the language and subject matter can tend to be a little crude at times, though that is part of the honesty in his writing. As a book I was disappointed. I would have enjoyed the stories seperately as some were previously published, and I would love to see this author spend more time with his subjects and even write a complete book on each subject versus the shorter stories. Overall, I would recommend this book to certain friends and I would read other works by the same author.
  • (4/5)
    I don't normally read a lot of journalist novels - with a few exceptions (Jon Krakauer and Hunter Thompson), but this one appealed to me right away. I think maybe it Wright's unusual background - starting out your career in journalism in the pornography industry has to give you a unique point of view. And it did, but not only that, it gave him empathy without being condescending - something I don't see that often when journalists report on the marginalized. Anyway, an interesting, refreshing read. Probably not for everybody, but for anyone interested in culture or politics or society I'd definitely recommend!(
  • (4/5)
    Evan Wright, who brought us an up close look at the war in Iraq as it was being fought by a select group of Marines with his book "Generation Kill," now introduces us to an assortment of people living outside the mainstream in America. "Hella Nation" is a collection of previously published articles written for publications ranging from Vanity Fair to Hustler. Wright also includes a healthy amount of personal background when appropriate, for example, how he came to be working at Hustler magazine, and also to show his bona fides: he is so able to write about outsiders because his own addictive lifestyle caused him to live outside the lines for so long. Wright's subjects range from corporate sponsored skateboarders to porn stars to modern dime-a-dance girls to neo-Nazi's and beyond. Each of these elements of the "underbelly" as Wright calls it is fascinating in its own way, even if some of their beliefs are, well, beyond belief. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.