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Article

Tinsel

Posted on

Hank Stuever, Tinsel

Tinsel

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Hank Stuever
publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
genre:
Philosophy and Religion, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

Washington journalist Hank Stuever approaches his study of Christmas excess as an exercise in American anthropology, picking conservative northeast Texas as his Samoa and living among the natives in order to observe their strip-mall shopping rituals over three holiday seasons. While he occasionally lapses into bewildered snark, overcome by all those megastores and megachurches, he still manages to find the heart in his characters’ obsessive consumerism. By Tinsel‘s end, he’s come to the somewhat jolly realization that no matter how prepackaged and homogenized the holiday has become, something about it remains inviolably personal. B

See all of this week’s reviews