Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The New Leisure Class?
Andrew Blechman’s first book, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Pigeons, was a charming look at the much-maligned bird and the quirky subcultures that flock to it. In Leisureville, Blechman investigates another subculture, but one with more significant consequences.
Blechman delves into life in the senior utopia, offering a hilarious first-hand report on all its peculiarities, from ersatz nostalgia and golf-cart mania to manufactured history and the residents’ surprisingly active sex life.
He traces the history of the trend, and travels to Arizona to show what has happened to the pioneering utopias after decades of segregation. Blechman investigates the government of these “instant” cities, attends a builder’s conference, speaks with housing experts, and examines the implications of millions of Americans dropping out of society to live under legal segregation.
A fascinating blend of serious history, social criticism, and hilarious, engaging reportage, Leisureville couldn’t come at a better time!
978-0-87113-981-8 * Grove Press * $27.50 Cloth
“Andrew Blechman’s account of the rampant unreality that has become the normal condition of life in Florida’s child-free retirement ghettos is fascinating. The generation that enjoyed the greatest economic boom in the history of the world is going out with a bang—the sound of society blowing up in our faces. Blechman has a laser eye for the tragicomic absurdities of all the fun, games, and wild sex in theme-park senior villages where Oz-like control is exercised by the developer and his minions. His mordant report from a strange land is consistently interesting.”—James Howard Kunstler
“Leisureville is like the science fiction of Kurt Vonnegut—except that it is reality. What a great country!”—Andrés Duany, author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream