Off-Ramp: Adventures And Heartache In The American Elsewhere - Hank StueverHenry Holt, 2004, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and top corners with commensurate ruffling to the dust wrapper. Text complete, clean and tight. A nice copy.
From the cover: “Hank Stuever’s funny, touching reports take us to everyday places where the increasingly unusual realities of today’s world run rampant. He finds it by bypassing Big News and taking off ramps to places where seemingly ordinary people lead lives just slightly off-kilter. Stuever’s Elsewhere extends through trailer parks, roller rinks, malls no longer sparkling, and suburbs where robot dogs growl and bored children jump off rooftops using Hefty-bag parachutes. From Star Wars conventions to credit disasters, from snipers to missing persons, there is always something happening in Elsewhere — and Hank Stuever never misses a scintilla of the action. In Off Ramp, his destinations include Piano, Texas, home of two friends both named Angie (“Piano princesses”) who turn home-decor disasters over to a TV decorating show and wind up at war against orange carpet. In Washington, D.C., we meet a ponytailed "sofa surgeon" who confronts the mysteries of the universe and couches that won’t go through doorways. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a spiral-permed secretary begins an odyssey toward marriage that takes her from anxiety dreams (“‘I’m walking down the aisle and nobody is looking at me or anything’”) to anxiety that is no dream. And we are there. We visit discount funeral homes (“Let’s say you’re dead”), campgrounds where international bonds are formed (“‘We are from the Netherlands, and we are for two days wonderink who it is you are’”), and storage facilities where America keeps its strangest secrets. We meet the men who drew the comic-book characters (including Wonder Woman) Stuever loved as a child, professional bowlers, waterbed aficionados, and some Texans on “debris drives” in search of pieces of the fallen Columbia shuttle. Finally, we travel to Stuever’s hometown of Oklahoma City, where the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building has created a kind of Elsewhere he has never seen before.”