Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Review: Whiteout

This is a guest review cross-posted from one of my favorite book blogs, Letters on Pages. You can find many great reviews there, mostly of non-fiction books like this one: Whiteout by Ted Conover Title: Whiteout Author: Ted Conover Publisher: Random House (1991) A little while ago I reviewed Newjack by Ted Conover and thought it was awesome. So I decided to read and review all of Conover’s other books. Next on my list was Whiteout: Lost in Aspen, a book about life in Aspen, Colorado. Conover is the type to completely engage himself in his subject, so he moved out to Aspen and got a job as a cab driver. Eventually he moved on to a much preferred position as a journalist for the The Aspen Times. Both jobs were helpful for learning about life in Aspen, but the journalist job enabled him to get inside a number places he wouldn’t have access to as a cab driver. Conover came to Aspen assuming he would hate it and all of the rich jerks that lived there. As it ends up, he loved the place…but there were an awful lot of rich jerks! Most people who live in, or come to, Aspen are rich and not really residents. They may live there, but no one is from there. A lot like Los Angeles. Plenty of famous people make their way through Aspen. Hunter S. Thompson and John Denver were both famous residents. Other celebrities traveled through often to vacation and party. Conover successfully sneaked into a big party hosted by Don Johnson (which, I suppose, was probably a much bigger deal in 1991 than it would be now.) Apparently Aspen is a major New Age location as well. Conover spent a lot of time exploring the New Age beliefs that were coming out of Aspen. That was a really funny chapter because you could tell he really wanted to learn…but hated almost every minute of it. He started with an open mind, but just couldn’t keep it together. Except for the part where he went to a house with some people waiting for the arrival of an alien ship. That was pretty much crazy. Another chapter was spent with a group of retired drug runners/dealers, which was enlightening. Apparently there was quite a drug culture (and maybe still is) in Aspen. As with Newjack, Conover did a fantastic job covering his topic. This book wasn’t nearly as exciting as the prison book…but still extremely well written. I highly recommend it…well worth your time! Rating: 4 out of 5


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