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Rendezvous with Oblivion

Reports from a Sinking Society
Written by: Thomas Frank
Narrated by: Thomas Frank
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Listen, Liberal and What’s the Matter with Kansas, a scathing collection of his incisive commentary on our cruel times - perfect for this political moment.

What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after 40 years of economic triumph, America’s winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country? 

With his sharp eye for detail, Thomas Frank takes us on a wide-ranging tour through present-day America, showing us a society in the late stages of disintegration and describing the worlds of both the winners and the losers - the sprawling mansion districts as well as the lives of fast-food workers.  

Rendezvous with Oblivion is a collection of interlocking essays examining how inequality has manifested itself in our cities, in our jobs, in the way we travel - and of course in our politics, where in 2016, millions of anxious ordinary people rallied to the presidential campaign of a billionaire who meant them no good. 

These accounts of folly and exploitation are here brought together in a single audiobook unified by Frank’s distinctive voice, sardonic wit, and anti-orthodox perspective. It captures a society where every status signifier is hollow, where the allure of mobility is just another con game, and where rebellion too often yields nothing. 

For those who despair of the future of our country and of reason itself, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a booster shot of energy, reality, and moral outrage.   

©2018 Thomas Frank (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Christopher
  • 2018-07-04

A Major Depressive if it Wasn't so Witty.

Salient as hell.

I wonder, did we ever (likely by accident and if only for a moment) live up to our own myth(s)?

It seems not.

How do you take the good examples of the past into the future without mistakingly pining for something that never really quite was?

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • LittleBee
  • 2018-07-25

book of our times

wish it was longer, the essays are so enjoyable and well written. author does great reading his own work

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • SuZieCoyote
  • 2018-08-10

The Message Was Good, but Disingenuous

The book has an important message. The liberals have largely abandoned their roots and have become corrupt and, more to the point, out of touch with those they pretend to serve. All this is true, but the delivery was so bombastic and full of hyperbole that it put me off. The other thing that put me off was his defense of people in small towns bemoaning that the carpet has been pulled out from under them. He maintains they didn't vote Trump/Republican because they are racist and sexist, but because they are losing their way of life. What makes their lives in small towns more important than life for those of us in cities? I, personally, have had to pull up roots many times to find work to support my family. So have most of my friends. We don't sit around and moan that it was the "librals" or even the "conservatives," that did this to us. Almost everyone I know has had to move for work. People in rural areas or small towns often believe they are special and don't have to do what humans have done for millennia and go find food/work where it is available. The author refuses to see this. They are all victims of us elite, educated folk in his mind. While I agree with 80% of the book's premise (that liberals/Democrats have lost their way), I have a real problem giving a pass to the racism, sexism, tribalism and downright mean-spiritedness of the Trump movement and its adherents. I grew up in Kansas, and I know the mindset I grew up with. They support a racist message because there is a racist core to their anger. They blame "the other" because things aren't to their liking. The author refused to admit this sentiment exists and it degrades the quality of his book.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • NordiKelt
  • 2018-08-21

Well laid out before you ... if you will listen

Thomas Frank is a very informative and entertaining teacher. Bleak yet hopeful theme well performed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Greg Hagar
  • 2019-09-17

Excellent insight and delivery

Thomas Frank has a rare understanding of what’s going on in society and politics - like Chris Hedges, but with levity. And his narration kept me awake and focused. The final chapters were my favorite.

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  • Brandon Hellbusch
  • 2019-08-21

A Critical Look at Why 2016 Happened

A hard hitting look at how Trump isn't the problem, he a symptom of the problem.

A convincing take on why the Democrats need to do a critical autopsy of their party after 2016.

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  • Chetzmom4
  • 2019-04-29

Read this book!

Thomas Frank lays a solid economic reasoning for why the U.S. political system is in the shape it is today. if you are NOT a Corporate CEO, a McMillionaire or one of the Political Consultant Class, then this quick book is for You! it is a great follow up to Frank's other book, "Listen Liberal." if you are right, left or center it's hard to deny the facts and trends laid out. Frank has a great voice and it is easy to listen to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-04

Thomas Frank is brilliant! <br /><br />

At a time when our government is nothing more than a system of legalized bribery we need more writers who speak truth to power! he' a great narrator as well!

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  • Douglas Brown
  • 2019-02-18

Great book!

An absolutely must read book if you have not drank the Koolaid yet! Could not stop listening to this book.

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  • Cleve
  • 2018-12-09

Hopefully not a Cassandra

The Cassandra appellation is something of a cliche but then cliches become cliches for a reason. Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.” The problem may be that there is too much of everything else to exhaust and too many seem to want to keep trying the same thing over and over again.