"Infinitely moving and powerful, just dead-on right, and absolutely original." Joan DidionSince its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way in which a place can shape a life, Holy Land is ultimately about the resonance of choiceshow wide a street should be, what to name a parkand the hopes that are realized in the habits of everyday life.
Holy Land : A Suburban Memoir 3.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Not what I was expecting, yet it was interesting and novel. It is written briefly, though not quite succintly, and in a restrained understated manner of an observant longtime resident of Lakewood, CA. The author is an engaged student of local history, especially of unique personalities who either do or attempt to found cities, develop vast tracts of bean fields or pipe and pump perhaps LA rarest resource, water. In some ways, Waldie has captured his suburb perfectly while enriching the reader through his incisive wit and pithy characterization of suburban paradoxes. Enjoy.
More than 1 year ago
Holy Land By D.J. Waldie is a book of a memoir of growing up in the 1950¿s in Lakewood, California, the world's largest suburb. Holy Land is a book about everyday life in a suburban city. When Waldie was a young boy he moved with his family to this new suburb city the was built in nearly three years. Many people that bought houses in the new city were WWII veterans. Being the second oldest "new" suburb in the nation attracted many people around the U.S. to come and buy a house. Here¿s a short excerpt from the book ¿He knew his suburb¿s first 17,500 houses had been built in less than three years. He knew what this must have cost him, but he did not care.¿ TT My opinions about the book. What I liked about the story was that the author talked about the street names like how the streets got there names and how they renamed the streets. Also, I like that the author told some problems about the neighborhood. Just like when the city had placed an airplane in the playground ,but many kids got injured so they moved somewhere else. One thing I disliked about the book was that not many characters were mentioned , but I understand why. Waldie wasn¿t given the privileges to talk about his past time neighbors. This book is a great story of Americas first suburban cities.
More than 1 year ago
Holy Land is a man¿s memoir of growing up in Lakewood, California, the epitome of all suburban cities. D.J. Waldie gives the reader insight of his life as a child, teenager, and married man living life in a quiet post World War II suburb. He also adds in the history of how 'his city' was founded and developed. Though some may believe memoirs are boring and useless, Waldie turns the growth of himself and a city into a suspenseful and fun adventure through time. Such as, when Waldie tells you about how the developers of Lakewood pioneered brand new ideas in the building a city, he leaves you wondering if these ideas are going to work or not. Waldie writes in an easy free-flowing prose that makes you feel as if you are listening to hundreds of short stories from your grandfather's lap. In my opinion Holy Land is an excellent and a must read for everyone. The part I enjoyed most about this book is when Waldie gives the history of Lakewood. Living in the city of Lakewood may have increased my interest of the subject but I¿m sure I would have been entertained even if I don¿t live here. Holy Land has given me a great deal knowledge of my city, knowledge that I probably would have never received if it weren¿t for D.J Waldie. I always enjoy learning of the past of something close to me and the book was perfect just for that. Now that I know why every house in my city has a tree in front of it and why a certain neighborhood doesn¿t have sidewalks. It kind of makes me feel good about myself. I enjoy driving down the streets of my city and being able to tell my friends why there are small shopping centers on the corner of every intersection that is a mile apart. This book has also given me the opportunity to impress my friends dads with all of the random Lakewood knowledge that I have learned. I¿ll tell you that there is no better feeling than being able to prove someone that has been alive longer than the city wrong when they try to tell you something about where they live. Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed is how D.J Waldie has opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of my city. Before I read Holy Land I always thought of my city as just another random place on the map where dads drink beer and work on cars and moms do housework all day, but now I look at my city as a trendsetter for all other cities in the United States after World War II.
More than 1 year ago
holy land was a tough book to follow. its about a man name d. j. waldie. His family was one of the first to move into the newly built city of Lakewood California. His parents die, and inserts of them keep popping but all through out the book, and it becomes an annoyance. that would be the main conflict. I didn't like this book at all. the way the author writes the book in little short inserts which are no more than a page or as little as a sentence. It gave me the feeling that the author has a bad case of ADD. On that, the inserts rarley relate to each other and gives a sense of disorganization. I dont Recommend this book, but thats just me
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