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Take the Cannoli : Stories From the New…
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Take the Cannoli : Stories From the New World (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Sarah Vowell

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2,077244,946 (3.86)53
"Take the Cannoli" is a moving and wickedly funny collection of personal stories stretching across the immense landscape of the American scene. Hailed by "Newsweek" as a "cranky stylist with talent to burn," Vowell has an irresistible voice -- caustic and sympathetic, insightful and double-edged -- that has attracted a loyal following for her magazine writing and radio monologues on This American Life. While tackling subjects such as identity, politics, religion, art, and history, these autobiographical tales are written with a biting humor, placing Vowell solidly in the tradition of Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker. Vowell searches the streets of Hoboken for traces of the town's favorite son, Frank Sinatra. She goes under cover of heavy makeup in an investigation of goth culture, blasts cannonballs into a hillside on a father-daughter outing, and maps her family's haunted history on a road trip down the Trail of Tears. "Take the Cannoli" is an eclectic tour of the New World, a collection of alternately hilarious and heartbreaking essays and autobiographical yarns.… (more)
Member:the_darling_copilots
Title:Take the Cannoli : Stories From the New World
Authors:Sarah Vowell
Info:Simon & Schuster (2001), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I have been a fan of Sarah Vowell since hearing her little girl fights squeaky door voice on NPR a decade ago or more. Upon hearing her voice delivering one of her essays, it is virtually impossible not to hear it as you read her. While the voice is unique, it is the flow that really stays with you. As a reader, you know where the pauses fit and why and where to rush ahead a little before catching your breathe again after a well delivered punch line. Essays about her childhood invariably touch on some aspect of American history, while her essays about history reveal that America is a family that we are all a part of for better or ill. She has a great way to sum up the often conflicting emotions we have about families and history in her essay about the forced Indian migration known as The Trail of Tears: "When I think about my relationship with America, I feel like a battered wife. Yeah, he knocks me around a lot, but boy, he sure can dance." This book TAKE THE CANNOLI is a collection of her earlier works. Some I had heard on the radio but I did not mind visiting them again. Though the work is often topical, it does not suffer with the passing of time or the passing away of cultural reference points. This is a testament to the precision of her prose. She stays with the humorous marrow even when the flesh has been gleaned from the historical bones. Highly recommend anything she has written though this is probably more accessible than some of her more history centric works like THE PARTLY CLOUDY PATRIOT and THE WORDY SHIPMATES--both of which I love. ( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
The first (?) essay about her dad made me cry for no reason. I don't particularly like her style of writing though. I expected it to be wordy and wicked and hilarious, but it seems a little...simplified? Tame? Obviously she's really smart, but it's as if she's writing essays expressly to be read on oh, "This American Life" or something. Wait... ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
An enjoyable collection of essays by Sarah Vowell. I love to listen to her books, but I couldn't find this one as an audio book so I read it. I can hear her voice while reading it too. ( )
  gbelik | Jun 14, 2012 |
This book is a collection of essays, some lengthy and some barely two pages. For those who have not read Sarah Vowell before, this is a good place to get acquainted with her brand of dry and witty writing.

My favorites included when she contracted herself out to become "goth" for a night because she wanted to look more menacing. And on the more serious side, she traveled the Trail of Tears with her twin sister and wrote about it in one of her longer essays. In that particular story you can get a sense of what Sarah Vowell does best, write about history. If that interests you I would recommend her fabulous Assassination Vacation. ( )
1 vote rosylibrarian | Jul 8, 2011 |
An engaging collection of essays on various topics of Americana. Vowell is a fun author to spend some time with. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Jun 21, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
From her gun-making father to her obsession with The Godfather, Disney World, The Chelsea Hotel, and Goths, Take The Cannoli is full of personal anecdotes that rarely try to insert themselves into the pop-culture continuum. Instead, they're part of the pop-culture continuum, like mental snapshots taken on a tour of the country. Vowell understands that even the world's most mundane elements can be and often are interesting, making Take The Cannoli a surprisingly successful assessment of American life free from the trappings of grandiosity.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe A. V. Club, Joshua Klein (Mar 29, 2002)
 
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Epigraph
I love songs about horses, railroads, land, judgment day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God. --Johnny Cash
All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change. I warn't particular. --Huck Finn on Hell
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For Greil Marcus and David Rakoff
First words
If you were passing by the house where I grew up during my teenage years and it happened to be before Election Day, you wouldn't have needed to come inside to see that it was a house divided.
Quotations
Looking back, I wonder why a gangster movie kidnapped my life. The Godfather had nothing to do with me. I was a feminist, not Italian, and I went to school at Montana State. I had never set foot in New York, thought ravioli came only in a can, and wasn’t blind to the fact that all the women in the film were either virgins, mothers, whores, or Diane Keaton.
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