*warning: ebook edition does not contain photographs*
William T. Vollmann has been in the back of my subconscious for some five years now; he gets constantly name-dropped in New Yorker articles and other intellectual pieces, being as he is part of the intellectual establishment--a graduate of the famed 'Deep Springs College,' wherein individuals develop deep souls and writing talent. :p
this is my first Vollmann, so I'm not absolutely blown away with how impressive the writing is; it is certainly "new Yorker" quality on that metric, and Vollmann does not lack charm, either, defending a middle ground property owner's stance with regard to homeless camping in his western-US parking lot--> i.e., not shooting them off if they're peaceable, but not permitting them into his actual house. the attitude comes off as distinctly American; half innocent, half-idealistic, and yet knowing that guns are swarming the streets.
through this mechanism Vollmann takes on the topic of the 2 billion people on this planet living on $2 a day. i.e., he's not going to save them all, but he will talk with them and seek to understand. if it doesn't directly cost anything, he will not be unpleasant.
wysiwyg; 350 pages of interviews of the poor, wherein some blame the rich, some blame themselves, some blame karma, others say chance. the photographs, however, are sorely missed for the ebook edition; on that score, i do feel somewhat ripped off. ($12 is full price, after all)
the Vollmann equation is hard to understand at present, because I've only read this one book. guess i gotta get his huge book on violence, some 13 volumes or whatnot? Falling Down was it?? Rising up falling down??