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Paperback Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's War Against the Gap, and Other Adventures with t Book

ISBN: 0425232379

ISBN13: 9780425232378

Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's War Against the Gap, and Other Adventures with t

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Book Overview

Read Evan Wright's posts on the Penguin Blog. The New York Times bestselling author of Generation Kill immerses himself in even more cultures on the edge. Evan Wright's affinity for outsiders has inspired this deeply personal journey through what he calls the lost tribes of America. A collection of previously published pieces, Hella Nation delivers provocative accounts of sex workers in Porn Valley, a Hollywood ber-agent-turned-war documentarian and...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Ultimate Cool

Hella Nation by Evan Wright A collection of essays from Rolling Stone and other magazines, the book is about subcultures and social misfits, weird outliers who are fascinating and sometimes frightening in their weirdness. With the courage of a war correspondent, Wright places himself in harm's way to get stories like one about American skinheads; or a Hollywood producer gone over the edge with drugs and rightwing craziness who is just cagey enough to hold onto a few famous contacts; or, most chilling, a story about the intersection of Russian killers and a deadly white-collar criminal. He once worked as an editor at Hustler magazine and writes a hilarious yet sympathetic story about the porn industry with pitch-perfect dialogue. As a top-notch reporter and writer, Wright lets the scenes and people speak for themselves: comical, graphic, and immediate. Even though the stories have been compared to Gonzo journalism, Wright does not inject himself into the story; but renders his subjects with sympathy and objectivity. He comments that the people he covers, far from being society's outcasts, "gravitated to subcultures because they didn't want to participate in the dominant culture." My favorite piece was the Introduction itself, in which he writes about the impulse behind this book. Wright endured years of alcoholism and substance abuse, but remained a student of the world and an intellectual with a keen and curious mind and a caring soul. "...The more I learned about man's inhumanity to man, the more I was afflicted with intense bouts of sadness, no matter how remote humankind's injustices were in space and time." In his refusal to posture or interject himself in these bold stories, Wright attains the ultimate cool.

Hella Journalism

I've found it's always a big thrill being a tourist in your own country -America! Hella Nation gathers Evan Wright's award-winning journalism done before and after he wrote Generation Kill. His profiles and encounters across America make Hella Nation an extraordinary and compelling road trip. Through his courageous storytelling, he brings his subjects to light, with humor and surprising compassion - making this genius collection impossible to put down. For a summer trip across America, Hella Nation is a must see!...Like your stop at Yellowstone National Park, only this version is filled with Wright's cast of schemers, dreamers, exotic dancers, Hollywood renegades, and Wright himself, seeking redemption on this journey into the wilds of the American Dream.

The Other Side of Generation Kill

Wright is simply an outstanding observer, writer, humorist. I came to Hella Nation after I saw the HBO mini-series based on his book Generation Kill. Hella Nation includes writing the author did before and after his seminal reporting from Iraq. It really is an insane portrait of America by one of the best writers around. I skipped the introductory chapter when I first read this, which was a mistake, since his personal story in the intro is hilarious and heartbreaking. What I like best across all the essays is Wright just calls things like they are. He has a very unflinching, often funny way way of seeing things, which was true for Generation Kill and for Hella Nation.

Like David Foster Wallace. Glad to find Evan Wright

Just finished re-reading David Foster Wallace. There is a class at Claremont a college where he last lived and taught that is only about his work. I am so glad I found Evan Wright expressing loss of DFW friendship in some article after DFW's untimely and tragic death. In Wright's world, in Hella Nation, you can see parallels or at least conversations. If you like DFW, you will like Wright for different reasons, but knowing that DFW and Wright are writers who would read each other's work and whose readers have many of the same takes on life in common. Can anyone comment on Harold Hecuba who helps DFW at electronics/porn convention in Consider the Lobster Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays. Hecuba must be Evan Wright, maybe. DFW thanks Wright at end of his collection. As a college student who strongly dislikes textbooks and most books assigned by my honors English program staff, I highly recommend Hella Nation. It is uncensored, relevant, probably not allowed on by most colleges these days because they are so afraid of getting sued or exposing students to controversial material. As if the average college student's life is not controversial in and of itself. Unless you have a suburban life that is immune to reality, Hella Nation should be on your own personal syllabus along with everything by DFW.

Pushes all my buttons -- a great book by a writer who gets people and is not afraid of talking about

I feel an affinity to this writer and I don't normally read war books or essay books. I like magazines, short fiction, web comix. My brother and his friends thought Evan Wright's book Generation Kill was like the best book ever. I did not read the book, but got into the story when I watched the HBO series based on it. I love that actor Alex Skarsgaard and the one who plays Person, PJ, and Rudy. Espera is the most deep in my view because he cares so much about his daughter. My brother got Hella Nation for me and I just ordered one for our brother in Orange County, California who is a recovering alcoholic and will LOVE THIS BOOK. The cover has a really obnoxious looking person on it. the publisher should have used the picture of Mr. Wright, a serious and friendly looking youngish man who could be in the movies, that's how good looking he is. Hella Nation looks like the type of book a guy would like, but I felt an affinity right away in Mr. Wright's introduction, an essay where he talks a little about himself. It is hilariously funny, but strikes me deeply since one of my brothers and my aunt have had serous problems with alocoholism. Mr. Wright is as open about himself as he is about his subjects. He writes candidly about his own first job problems with anxiety and going through an interview. I can relate. You would never expect this kind of revelation from a successful person, and a macho looking man. He's very down to earth. I have to admit I couldn't put down the stories about Mr. Wright's life in porn and dealing with LA's underbelly. I also can't believe how sad the story is about the people whose dog killed their neighbor and grown-up man in prison they adopted. It is the strangest story I have ever read apart from the last story in the book which is even stranger than fiction. I can't believe that the subject, Pat Dollard (who has a website I just found), could go to those depths and that he would let anyone write about him. Mr. Wright is good at winning people's trust. You feel like you know him and like you're there in the room with some of the strangest people on earth. I could see the stories in this book turn into a series like Columbo (an old show you can rent) except that the investigator is a writer like Evan Wright. And he meets people like this who finally can't stand their secret anymore, and they confess. I can't judge these people. I've been as sick as my secrets in the past, too. It feels good to read this book and think about your own path in life and why so many people take the wrong step and everything falls apart. I don't even think Mr. Dollard wanted to be anything but a good person who cares about others. It just went all wrong. I highly recommend this book especially if your family is not perfect or if you or anyone is your family has had trouble with alcohol or addictions. You will really relate to the stories in this collection by an author who seems to really care about people.
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