In this truly one-of-a-kind book, the author/narrator--a
representative, in extremis, of contemporary American obsession
with beauty, celebrity, transmitted image--finds himself suspended,
fascinated, in the remoteness of our wall-to-wall mediascape. It is
a remoteness that both perplexes and enthralls him.
Through dazzling sleight of hand in which the public becomes
private and the private becomes public, the entire book--clicking
from confession to family-album photograph to family chronicle to
sexual fantasy to pseudo-scholarly footnote to reportage to
personal essay to stand-up comedy to cultural criticism to literary
criticism to film criticism to prose-poem to litany to outtake
--becomes both an anatomy of American culture and a searing
David Shields reads his own life--reads our life--as if it were an
allegory about remoteness and finds persuasive, hilarious,
heartbreaking evidence wherever he goes.