Hunting Mister Heartbreak by Jonathan Raban
A Discovery of America

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A New York Times Notable Book

"In an era of jet tourism, [Jonathan Raban] remains a
traveler-adventurer in the tradition of  .  .  .  Robert Louis Stevenson."
--The New York Times Book Review

In 1782 an immigrant with the high-toned name J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur--"Heartbreak" in English--wrote a pioneering account of one European's transformation into an American. Some two hundred years later Jonathan Raban, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, arrived in Crèvecoeur's wake to see how America has paid off for succeeding generations of newcomers. The result is an exhilarating, often deliciously funny book that is at once a travelogue, a social history, and a love letter to the United States.
        In the course of Hunting Mr. Heartbreak, Raban passes for homeless in New York and tries to pass for a good ol' boy in Alabama (which entails "renting" an elderly black lab). He sees the Protestant work ethic perfected by Korean immigrants in Seattle--one of whom celebrates her new home as "So big! So green! So wide-wide-wide!"--and repudiated by the lowlife of Key West.  And on every page of this peerlessly observant work, Raban makes us experience America with wonder, humor, and an unblinking eye for its contradictions.

"Raban delivers himself of some of the most memorable prose ever written
about urban America." --Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times

"When Raban describes America and Americans, he is unfailingly witty
and entertaining." --Salman Rushdie

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Jonathan Raban

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Jonathan Raban is the author, most recently, of the novels Surveillance and Waxwings; his nonfiction includes Passage to Juneau and Bad Land. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and the Governor's Award of the State of Washington. He lives in Seattle.
Published May 11, 2011 by Vintage. 386 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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and fantasizes about writing a novel about Seattle while brooding that it now has ``the dangerous luster of a promised city.'' Too jaundiced to overlook the instances of violence, greed, and indifference in the Reagan-Bush era, he is also swept along by ``the continuous motion of life in the Unit...

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Publishers Weekly

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By ship from Liverpool, British writer Raban ( Old Glory ) arrived in New York, ``a city in a round-the-clock state of emergency,'' to begin his quest for the real America.

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Entertainment Weekly

But as Jonathan Raban… Jonathan Raban Nonfiction Travel HarperCollins Book Review Hunting Mi...

May 31 1991 | Read Full Review of Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A ...

London Review of Books

‘Travelling,’ Jonathan Raban once remarked, ‘is inherently a plotless, disordered, chaotic affair, where writing insists on connection, order, plot, signification.’ Even the best contemporary travel writing is haunted by the self-consciousness that grows out of this contradiction.

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