I just tore into Lawrence Wright's contribution to the long running mini-literary genre: "whats up with Texas?"...its that frigging good. Going back 150 years people have been trying to figure out my adoptive homeland. The best are those introspective Texans like Erica Greider and the worst are those by drive-thru literati New Yorkers like Gail Collins. Lawrence Wrifght's "God Save Texas" is an extremely good summary of what is so great about Texas and what can be so head-shakingly troubling about the Lone Star State.
Wright, who lives in Austin, apparently wrote this book as an explanation/apologia to his New Yorker editor David Reminick.
A rambling, baggy but quite pleasant stroll through Texas past (some) and present (moreso). Lawrence is an amazing journalist and one of our age's Important Writers. This book finds him in a more relaxed, personal mode - sharing a drink on a patio with an old friend under a wide Texas sky.
The book was definitely stronger in place
s where it seemed the author was more familiar with the subject (Austin, West Texas, Dallas - although as someone who also spent his teenage years there I disagree with Wright's premise that Dallas is actually slightly more enlightened than it gets credit for - it isn't). The sections along the Border seemed especially thin, and the Houston section could have been cut from any recent article in Texas Monthly or Travel & Leisure. But never mind - it's still a pleasure to sit back with the author for a while and contemplate the cosmic weirdness and ongoing tragedy of our impossible and essential state.MoreLess