John Gregory Dunne’s “Vegas”

Cannot improve on Greil Marcus’s aces review (which I did not read back then) of Vegas: A Memoir of a Dark Season. I knew only vaguely who Dunne was and had never been to Vegas when I read the book, but that didn’t matter because one of its strengths is that it’s at once incredibly site-specific and not at all. Helped that I was going through a crisis of what’s-the-point not unlike Dunne’s. He helped me realize too many people in my orbit were simply throwing their lives away, or at least whizzing down the highway at night with the headlights off. I needed a new scene. A new resolve.

Dunne emerges from his dark season quite triumphant and you understand exactly how and why. Unlike some commenters I see around, I thought Dunne was present and confessional just enough. I’m surprised and bummed out how obscure Vegas has become.

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