Between Panic and Desire / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- UNP - Nebraska
“Insouciant” and “irreverent” are the sort of words that come up in reviews of Dinty W. Moore’s books—and, invariably, “hilarious.” Between Panic and Desire, named after two towns in Pennsylvania, finds Moore at the top of his astutely funny form. A book that could be named after one of its chapters, “A Post-Nixon, Post-panic, Post-modern, Post-mortem,” this collection is an unconventional memoir of one man and his culture, which also happens to be our own.
Blending narrative and quizzes, memory and numerology, and imagined interviews and conversations with dead presidents on TV, the book dizzily documents the disorienting experience of growing up in a postmodern world. Here we see how the major events in the author’s early life—the Kennedy assassination, Nixon’s resignation, watching Father Knows Best, and dropping acid atop the World Trade Center, to name a few—shaped the way he sees events both global and personal today. More to the point, we see how these events shaped, and possibly even distorted, today’s world for all of us who spent our formative years in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. A curious meditation on family and bereavement, longing and fear, self-loathing and desire, Between Panic and Desire unfolds in kaleidoscopic forms—a coroner’s report, a TV movie script, a Zen koan—aptly reflecting the emergence of a fractured virtual America.
About the Author
Dinty W. Moore is a professor of English at Ohio University and the author of several books, including Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction, and The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Between Panic and Desire
Part One. Panic
1. Introduction: Hello, My Name Is _______
2. Son of Mr. Green Jeans: A Meditation on Missing Fathers
3. Double Vision
4. Son of Richard M. Nixon
5. Three Bad Trips, 1968-77
6. Questions and Activities before Continuing
Part Two. Paranoia
7. Introduction: Imagine That
8. Baseball, Hot Dogs, Mescaline, and Chevrolet
9. Number Nine
11. Questions and Activities before Continuing
Part Three. Desire
12. Introduction: Why Oprah Doesn't Call
13. Son of George McManus
14. Three Milestones
15. Leonard Koan
16. Son of a Bush
17. Three Days in September
18. What You Want, What You Get, What You Need: A Post-Nixon, Post-panic, Post-modern, Post-mortem
19. "Curtis Knows Best": Towering, Permanent, Perilous, and Soon to be Televised on a Widescreen Near You
20. The Final Chapter
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
“Between Panic and Desire is more autopsy than memoir—a strange new hybrid. It's a fantasy of letting go of the things that have haunted Moore his entire life. These things do, in fact, float off the pages.”—Los Angeles Times
“This book is funny, funny, funny. It is an unconventional—some might say, experimental—collection of frolicsome and touching personal essays. . . . [T]he book is a rare example of how unusual form actually helps. It is the ideal display for Dinty’s imagination. He daydreams. He fantasizes. He hallucinates. And this is nonfiction. For anyone who thinks the genre is nothing more than a retelling of facts, pick up a copy of Between Panic and Desire. . . . It is literary nonfiction with integrity. And it’s fun.”—Oxford Town
“Moore forges a brisk, incisive, funny, sometimes silly, yet stealthily affecting memoir in essays and skits, a ‘generational autobiography,’ and good candid guy stuff. . . . Each anecdote, piece of pop-culture trivia, and frankly confessed panic and desire yields a chunk of irony and a sliver of wisdom.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was disappointed to see this book when it arrived for me at the library. Awful cover. Looked like my fifth grade niece did the artwork. I¿d read Moore¿s piece, Son of Mr. Green Jeans, for a class this summer and loved it. Raved about it. Masterful. This was the first selection in the book. Oh dear. Is Moore a one-hit wonder?No. Happily I can say no. Ignore the cover. Moore can write, at least about the sadnesses of his life. It¿s a lovely book. Funny. Clever. Glad I read it.
This is simply an amazing book: funny, accessible, poignant, avant garde, and silly all at the same time. Dinty Moore, a teacher of creative nonfiction, bursts the boundaries of the form in this book that includes quizzes, a dramatic teleplay written from published quotes, and an emotional autopsy. It is an easy read, as it is organized in short, punchy chapters. If you were born in the 1950s or 60s, the book will be even more meaningful for you. Highly recommended.