Between Panic and Desire (American Lives)


Is this perhaps a prose comic book? And we continue on, our question held tightly in our sweaty palms.

Between Panic and Desire (American Lives) Paperback – March 1, “Insouciant” and “irreverent” are the sort of words that come up in reviews of Dinty W. Moore’s books—and, invariably, “hilarious.”. Between Panic and Desire, named after two towns in. Between Panic and Desire has ratings and 37 reviews. chaptered essay on life under the influence of late 20th century American pop and political culture.

When we finally catch our breath, relaxing again with the aid of humor, we do not rest long. We are not easily fooled.

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There is a lot going on here. Then, just as we think that we are going to be allowed to plant our feet firmly on steady ground again, we are off and quickly smashed by yet another bend in the track. We are thrown on our side. We know now, with certainly, that this is no simple little ride that we are on. Then when the narrative straightens a bit and we go on into shared historical events, the familiar is calming. At last, some facts that we know. Then suddenly there is a new twist. Our author combines his personal life with political events of the time and we come out laughing.

It happens at the top of the hill when our author floats out the Boomer question: This question is often asked: Our author, as it turned out, was where most Boomer kids were then, in school.

Sep 13, Alison rated it really liked it Shelves: Between Panic and Desire by Dinty W. Moore does have a gift for writing in a style thats unconventional. Well, dang, I wrote the thing Our ability to balance is put to the test. Want to Read saving…. He is experimental at times with form, but that does not detract from the urgency with which he writes.

He remembers where he was when he revealed who had done it. It is not a clean and neat process. Like the chapters before, these are not stacked, one on top of the other, as in regular books. Rather, we fall into a cauldron of facts, rise to new heights of awareness, and shoot through feelings and fights to discover new shapes, forms and ways of understanding. Our ability to balance is put to the test. But as a child, in the early years of television, he studied the characters and scenes of regular programming to learn about life.

On television, fathers were seemingly plentiful, loving and approachable. Each one was perfect. They dressed nicely, acted politely and were always there when needed. What is wrong with this picture? Dinty and the reader are now on this quest together, forging on through this story, we will not be defeated. We follow him as he trudges through feelings of unrest in search of answers. Then, finally we learn that he finds his path, and begins studying, experimenting and writing.

His launch into writing began, he recalls, came while on a helicopter ride home from covering the story of a major flood in Johnstown, Pa. I was a gunner in Vietnam. The trees were filled with evil people trying hard to bring me down. At the beginning of the second section: Paranoia , we are treated to a conversation between the author and a telephone psychic who happens to be a member of a prominent political family.

The response is sad, but most likely a freeing moment. Here Dinty provides insights into the study of patterns — recurring links, information, and formations in nature. He focuses on the attributes of the number 9. Nine, we learn, is to be taken seriously. Before we receive our quiz at the end of this section, we learn how the author moved from writing as a journalist, to film making, then grant writing, in the chapter entitled: Our author makes note of his growing desire to write about the thoughts and ideas swimming in his head.

He is an esteemed professor and a beloved family man. What happened in between is a fun, funny, thought-provoking and very human story. Smart, unusual and deeply poignant without ever feeling cheesy. And the author was a favorite professor of mine so there's that. Dec 06, Annalee rated it really liked it Shelves: Between Panic and Desire is a blunt, engaging memoir of Dinty W. His autobiography is split into three parts: Panic, Paranoia, and Desire. In part one, his narrative begins to blur into the narrative of the 60ss American generation, aided by the frequent pop culture and news interjections.

The father figure shifts from his actual father, to popular father characters on television, and the Presidents of America. He finds and pursues desire. My favorite aspect of Dinty W. Frequently, he stops and has a type of quiz section after a series of seemingly fragments of memories and pop culture, which ultimately connects the fragmented ideas he presents into how it applies to him and America.

In the third section, one of his father-figures preforms an autopsy of the old Dinty Moore. He presents his findings twice, expanding on the details of how Moore changed and confronted panic and focused on desire. In another section, he creates a dialogue between himself, a merging of a man who shot himself over the assertions of a TV Screen and a critical writer, a radio talk show host, and a sex obsessed musician, using their own, already stated words.

Oct 15, Matt rated it really liked it. A funny and strange book-- the reviews are largely accurate, that this book blends memoir and social history rather deftly. That seems like the kind of thing that lots of books do, but I feel like this one does the personal side a little more fully, that Moore is, more than the observing eye in those other books, a real character here, and a funny one at that.

I also liked the frequent interruptions of recognizable other narrative modes-- the quizzes, for example. I'm teaching this book next seme A funny and strange book-- the reviews are largely accurate, that this book blends memoir and social history rather deftly. I'm teaching this book next semester, so I'll spend more time with it, but I like the sections, the commonality and divergences in their organization, etc. It's a rich book, and I think my students will really like it. I'm not sure this is really a critique as much as it is a note to self, but the book is not cerebral like some other books I could name-- I'm thinking Monson, Bissell, even McPhee.

Not to say Moore isn't smart, just that this book doesn't go there, really. I like to be dazzled, so I kind of missed it, but I don't know if that's a fair criticism, and this book does offer a lot else to like, including a kind of dopily affable mensch at the center. Jan 27, Nita rated it it was amazing Shelves: Between Panic and Desire , Dinty W. The book weaves John F. I really enjoyed the ride. Jun 06, Jason Dutton rated it liked it. If memory serves, the author calls this book an unconventional memoir, and I suppose that's true; he uses a format I've come to know as a hermit crab essay, or an essay that is sort of hidden within an outer shell that pretends to be something else.

For instance, one of Moore's chapters is an autopsy of himself, and another is a list of encyclopedia entries. This works so far as the chapters are entertaining, and Moore does a good job of tying themes into different chapters, but I came away from If memory serves, the author calls this book an unconventional memoir, and I suppose that's true; he uses a format I've come to know as a hermit crab essay, or an essay that is sort of hidden within an outer shell that pretends to be something else. This works so far as the chapters are entertaining, and Moore does a good job of tying themes into different chapters, but I came away from this book thinking he may well have sacrificed substance for entertainment.

That's not necessarily a bad thing; his book is certainly more entertaining than some essays I've read that have much more depth. I suppose it comes down to what you expect from a memoir, and I was expecting to be engaged more than I was. This book was a nice way to spend a couple hours, much like the television shows Moore keeps mentioning in his book, and much like television shows, the book did more to distract me than change me.

Jan 28, Courtney rated it liked it Shelves: A bit uneven, and slightly repetitive, but overall engaging and fun.

Between Panic & Desire

Moore describes Between Panic and Desire as a "cultural memoir," and this is a very apt term. While it is primarily about his personal experiences as a lonely, isolated child and directionless, apathetic adult, it also explores how these states of being represent a larger conglomeration of collective emotions. Some pieces might be stronger or more compelling for those who share Moore's generational identity.

Even when his writing didn't quite resonate with me, I enjoyed his storytelling style. The exploration of skewed perception was especially nifty. Sep 13, Alison rated it really liked it Shelves: I am so grateful for the story of your name. My only previous exposure to Dinty and Moore strung together in a moniker was related to canned chili. How narrow and sheltered my life has been. If you are a writer and have a chance to do work with Mr. Moore, sign up and show up.

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Weed was not my drug of choice, but I identify with DInty regarding fear and the faith that grows from clearing up and getting free. Jan 13, Robin rated it liked it Shelves: There is definitely humor here amid the pathos.

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One goodreads reviewer noted that baby-boomers will like this best, and I think there's truth in that; I'm a bit younger than Dinty can't possibly be his real name! The way he links seemingly unrelated short bits to show you his theme is creative and enjoyable. A fun read if you have time on your hands. He is a w There is definitely humor here amid the pathos. He is a writing professor at Ohio University, and I imagine his classes are interesting.

Apr 18, Eileen rated it really liked it. I was happily surprised by this book, which looks pretty kitschy on first glance, but turns out to be a very well done, long, chaptered essay on life under the influence of late 20th century American pop and political culture. Moore uses some highly fraught methods i. May 10, Kathryn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This is simply an amazing book: Dinty Moore, a teacher of creative nonfiction, bursts the boundaries of the form in this book that includes quizzes, a dramatic teleplay written from published quotes, and an emotional autopsy.

It is an easy read, as it is organized in short, punchy chapters. If you were born in the s or 60s, the book will be even more meaningful for you. Oct 11, Deb Readerbuzz Nance rated it really liked it Shelves: I was disappointed to see this book when it arrived for me at the library. Looked like my fifth grade niece did the artwork.

Green Jeans, for a class this summer and loved it. This was the first selection in the book. Is Moore a one-hit wonder? Happily I can say no. Moore can write, at least about the sadnesses of his life. Glad I read it. Apr 18, sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: He is experimental at times with form, but that does not detract from the urgency with which he writes.

The touch of humor and playful tone only heighten the themes he explores on the page. Moore can deftly cast his net into the sea of memory and catch just the precise moment to reel in, unfold, and dissect for the reader. Jan 21, NancyKay Wessman rated it really liked it.

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Cannot remember, but I think I bought this book in its first-year out, in , at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. Can hardly wait to reconnect with this wonderful writer at the Oxford CNF http: View all 3 comments. Aug 10, Julie Farrar rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved the structure of this memoir, organizing his life along the lines of culture touchstones from "Father Knows Best" to the presidency of Richard Nixon.

He plays with form, some chapters being dream sequences and some being scripts for Oprah-worthy docu-dramas.