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America's Back Porch
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Americans are being slowly driven mad, poisoned by crops yielded from the cursed ground they have stolen from the Native Americans. This is the legend that opens a collection of darkly comic tales of American oddballs and eccentrics by British journalist Jeffreys. Snake handlers, teenage vampires, spies, bounty hunters, believers in UFOs, veterinarians who specialize in cosmetic surgery, and many other marginal characters prove easy marks for the author's acerbic wit. Jeffreys has an eye for the absurd and unseemly, and his portraits are as hilarious as they are disturbing. Sometimes, however, he is guilty of an overreliance on cartoonish stereotypes; all too often he drags out the clichd, gun-totting, overweight, puritanical, and smugly self-satisfied American. Still, the work is always entertaining, even when it falls short of trenchant social commentary. A wild and raucous ride through the wounded regions of the American psyche, this is highly recommended for all public libraries.DAndrew Brodie Smith, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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