Described as 'mini obituaries for times gone past', Remember? Remember? by Charles Beaumont was exactly what I wanted it to be: Lots of fun. What I hadn't counted on was the excellent history lesson that I got as a bonus. This book is partly a history of life in America circa the early 20th century (nostalgic reminiscence being the preferred narrative lens) and partly a condemnation of letting this superior past be taken over by the clearly inferior pursuits of the present (1960s). His main concern seems to be that the adults of today's (1960s) generation have ruined the future of their children by doing away with the pleasures of yesteryear.
Examples of ruination include but are not limited to:
- Charlie Chaplin's exile from America after being a prolific entertainer that created art in a time when the world was gray.
- The spectacle of silent movies taken over by the sterility of 'blockbusters' in cookie cutter movie theaters.
- Steam trains being replaced by diesel engines which were then supplanted by airplane travel. (Beaumont is all about the romance.)
- Halloween no longer being a night of mischief but a highly sanitized and supervised few hours of getting candy from pre-approved houses before calling it quits before the sun has even sunk below the horizon.
Conclusion: This was a fun (and surprisingly educational) book which has me looking forward to ferreting out more work of his in the (not too distant) future. 10/10
What's Up Next: Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
What I'm Currently Reading: Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen