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One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an…
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One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America (edition 2020)

by Gene Weingarten (Author)

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1659131,176 (4.14)5
A journalist pulls a random day in history from a hat to see if he can make a worthwhile news story from what happened. The result is One Day, a deeply illuminating and affecting exploration of the quiet dramas and human interaction that make a seemingly insignificant day - December 28th, 1986 - into an important, poignant part of American history.… (more)
Member:LaMill29
Title:One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America
Authors:Gene Weingarten (Author)
Info:Blue Rider Press (2020), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is an exceptional book and one that recommend to anyone who enjoys great writing, great reporting, and amazing stories. Cliches are weak and devoid of meaning, so if I say that truth is stranger than fiction it will pretty much just wash over you and have no effect. I’m going to say it anyway. The premise here is that Gene Weingarten literally picked a date out of a hat, or 3 hats to be precise one each for month, date, and year, and then went out to write essays on interesting things that happened on that day. The date of December 28, 1986 was not an easy one but wow what he does with it. I continue to be blown away by his ability to weave stories together and avoid any feeling of going down too many diversions and alleys. If you graph out the flow of this pieces there are some that would look like a complete mess but he has such a feel for how long to stay on something and when to peruse an angle that you never notice. The first story in this book may be one of the single best pieces of writing I’ve ever read. I finished it and I had to dab away a tear. It could have been a tear of joy, sadness, or anger, because every one of those emotions is dealt with. I cannot imagine how much work went into creating 375 pages of text from a date that was over 30 years in the past when he started. I suspect the percentage of his work that made it to print was very low. I will say that the work was worth it. I cannot recommend this book enough. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Weingarten, who randomly selected a day in the recent past, goes back and reports on various American events of one day—the last Sunday in December, 1986—and their consequences, including coverage of sports, Ed Koch’s mayoralty, a single relationship marred by appalling violence and ending (for now with forgiveness), and AIDS (the deaths of a beloved designer and a closeted Republican). It’s an interesting illustration of the idea that all stories have fractal complexity. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Dec 7, 2020 |
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an Hour."

As an exercise, the author decided to randomly choose a single day, December 28, 1986, and then investigate and write about all the things that happened during the course of that one day--to report it deeply, hour by hour. He began shortly after midnight, when the violent death of a stalker has resulted in the availability of a heart for transplant into the body of a very ill young woman. It continues through a variety of trivial and important incidents all occurring that day, filling in details of what came before and after: a student prank at a university; a death in a housefire; a young girl whose strict parents won't let her play video games plays and wins Mario Brothers at a sleepover (and grows up to become a well-known blogger); a young woman kidnapped and murdered; a man long married to a woman comes to the realization that he was meant to be a woman; a football game ending in a racial incident; a young man electrocuted in a booby trap as he attempts to burgle a store; the death of an openly gay graphic artist from AIDS as well as the death of a closeted Republican operative from AIDS; an upside down helicopter crash; the marriage of the parents of a famous hockey player whose father went to jail for nearly murdering his mother; Russian emigrants returning to Russia after failing to thrive in the US. These stories and many others are fleshed out and each, to a greater or lesser extent, engages and intrigues us. I really enjoyed this book.

Here's the summary he ended the book with:

"Eva Baisey had gotten her new heart and Todd Thrane had lost his life trying to save babies, and baby Michael Green had been burned beyond recognition, and Cara Knott had been pulled, dead, from a culvert, and Ed Koch had been booed by his loyal constituents, and the Confederate flag was marched home, and someone had stolen the weather vane, and Terry Dolan and Joe Resnicoff had died of AIDS, and Brad Wilson had somehow survived his helicopter crash, and the football replay had gone on and on and on and little Heather Hamilton had saved the princess.
"Everything moves on."

If it sounds like something you'd like, go for it.

3 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Aug 23, 2020 |
The author picked a day at random ,December 28, 1986 and found various events over the U.S . that took place that day. Some were very life changing for many families .It made me stop and think about people I know, and don't know and basically the idea that so much goes on that we never know about. We all live complicated/emotional lives in one way or another. I like that the author gave updates on some of the people and how things are today for them. ( )
  loraineo | Aug 18, 2020 |
A fascinating look back into an era, the 80s, through a series of vignettes about events that happened on an otherwise uneventful date, December 28, 1986. Some of the stories focused on topics that were newsworthy at the time – the AIDS epidemic, the Cold War – and some were simply about human nature, both good and bad. The writing had something of an 80s feel to it too, it reminded me of Paul Harvey’s ‘The Rest of the Story’ broadcasts from back then. ( )
  wandaly | May 11, 2020 |
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A journalist pulls a random day in history from a hat to see if he can make a worthwhile news story from what happened. The result is One Day, a deeply illuminating and affecting exploration of the quiet dramas and human interaction that make a seemingly insignificant day - December 28th, 1986 - into an important, poignant part of American history.

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