I first came across the writing of John Jeremiah Sullivan in the pages of GQ magazine, which I occasionally buy from the newsstand. I think three of these feature articles are among the best magazine writing of the last 10-15 years: "Upon This Rock" (which is about a Christian rock concert as seen through the eyes of a former born again Christian), "Getting Down To What Is Really Real" (about an MTV reality star, the Miz, who I am not entirely familiar with), and a fascinating article about Bunny Wailer, "The Last Wailer," which also read like a New Yorker style "Letter From Kingston," giving a devastating glimpse of what life is like in contemporary Jamaica. I think the personal connections and personal voice is one the things that sets Sullivan apart from other feature writers, well, that, and his fluid pose. He can make all sorts of things that I have no interest in palpable: the aforementioned article on a reality TV star, the over exposed Michale Jackson ("Michael"), a down but not out Axl Rose ("The Final Comeback Of Axl Rose"), ancient cave paintings ("Unnamed Caves"), an obscure naturalist named Constatine Samuel Rafinesque from Kentucky ("LA-HWI-NE-SKI: Career Of An Eccentric Naturalist"), obscure blues musicians (Unknown Bards"), and animals on the attack ("Violence Of The Lambs"). That being said when he is engaged in something that is truly meaning full to him AND can draw me into the story he reaches greatness or near greatness: in the aforementioned article on the Christian rock festival that hit close to home, his brother's near-death electrocution ("Feet In Smoke"), his relationship to a Southern legend and mentor ("Mr. Lytle: An Essay"), an update of life in the south following the destruction of hurricane Katrina ("At A Shelter (After Katrina))," sizing up the Tea Partiers ("American Grotesque"), again the aforementioned article on Bunny Wailer, and his experience allowing his house to be used for a TV show ("Peyton's Place"). I will continue to search out Sullivan's writing in the future with hopes that his subjects lean toward less obscure areas, but perhaps, that, is one of the charms of this collection.