Sarah Vowell

I’ve a love / hate relationship with Sarah Vowell.  I loved Assassination Vacation and her contributions to This American Life. But I couldn’t finish The Wordy Shipmates.  Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy American history and I’ve always had a high tolerance for “snarky”.  Her brand makes me uncomfortable, though.  Sometimes.  When she doesn’t make me laugh.  Or tear up.  I don’t know… take a look at the trailer for her new book, Unfamiliar Fishes, and decide for yourselves.

See what I mean? Vowell makes these fabulous and (seemingly) far-fetched connections.  She’s constantly walking a fence between irony and mockery, and it’s never clear which side she intends to land on.  In her hands history becomes accessible and relevant.  And damn funny.  You know, the more I think about it, maybe it’s just the Puritans I don’t like…

What are your thoughts on Sarah Vowell? Love her? Hate her? Ambivalent? Confused?

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