Ashar, Linda C. Sandusky: A Guide to Ohio’s North Coast Playground.  New York; Channel Lake, 2010.

I was initially surprised to see a nationally published guide for Sandusky published by the Tourist Town Guides series.  Does Sandusky, Ohio deserve to be canonized along Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach, and Niagara Falls?  Probably not.  But if you step back, Sandusky is the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) in the Lake Erie district, encompassing Cedar Point and having ferries to Bass Islands.

To be frank, Linda Ashar’s Sandusky (the book) is not about the city of Sandusky, but I like the idea.   Ashar covers the area of Vermillion to the east to the Lake Erie islands, with large sections on Cedar Point and the Bass Islands (this is a good guide for South Bass and Kelley’s Islands).  I think this sounds about right for the “Sandusky area”, as it is referred to in the text.  I would have felt cheated if there were trips to Tony Packos or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included.  Continue reading

Ghetto Celebrity

Alexander, Donnell. Ghetto Celebrity: Searching for my Father in Me. New York; Crown Publishers, 2003.

Looking at the blurbs on the back of Ghetto Celebrity, you know Alexander’s biography made the rounds at the office of McSweeney’s around the turn of the century.   With praise from Dave Eggers, Sarah Vowell, and Neal Pollack and a major publisher, Ghetto Celebrity is not your typical growing-up-in-Sandusky story.

For the most part, Ghetto Celebrity hits the mark as a biography and as a literary work of higher ambition.  Though there are several post-modern elements in Alexander’s storytelling — at one point, the story is told in crude comic book sketches — Ghetto Celebrity is for the most part a linear story, starting with his parents courtship and following his life and career.   The author is very frank about his life, mixing free-flowing street language with more conservative styles, in telling everything.  Alexander has broken his story into three acts.  And, I will give the author credit that each act has a distinct tone and feel.
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