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November 20th, 2017


My Goodreads review: Hillbilly Elegy

Posted on 2017.11.20 at 15:41
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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in CrisisHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm glad I read (listened to) this book, & it was refreshing to hear someone examining the problems of his own cultural group without placing all the blame elsewhere. Vance is honest & thorough about reporting his experiences growing up, though many of his "life lessons" aren't uncommon for most of us. They just happen to be uncommon for many of the people he grew up around, which was an important realization. I came away feeling as though I'd learned a lot about working class white folks from a certain part of the country.

That said, I wanted to like this one more than I did. Despite J. D. Vance's excellent narration, I found it difficult to get through. There was quite a bit of repetition -- possibly because the same things really did keep happening over and over! -- and it was hard to accept that some of the people he cared about most just weren't ever going to get better. This may be a personal take on a book many people seem to be raving about, but it wound up being one I finished because I knew I ought to. YMMV.

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