Reel to Real

Seeing Noah Adams's and Rush Limbaugh's names used in the same sentence may surprise many. But both are well-known radio personalities and have recently written interesting books.

Reel to Real

An avid radio fan -- news and information, talk, jazz, rock, classical, sports -- I constantly keep one hand on the dial. For me, National Public Radio provides a daily ration of reality. And the Excellency in Broadcasting Network's "The Rush Limbaugh Show" offers a raw dose of conservative commentary and targeted humor. As a regular listener to both, I recognized many of the references to on-air bits in each book, certainly making them more interesting and fun.

Noah Adams on "All Things Considered": A Radio Journal chronicles in quasi-diary format the thoughts and actions of one talented and busy journalist over a one-year period. Adams offers snippets of background for stories ranging from the Beijing Massacre to the Exxon oil disaster, from the Ayatollah Khomeini funeral to freedom unleashed in former Soviet client states.

But at least as interesting are the interviews with a salmon fisher in Alaska and a couple who maintain lighthouses in Maine, the judge over the "mule-jumping trial" and a nameless Romanian dissident. Adams makes the distant feel close-at-hand and the unknown familiar.

Adams was not limited by his format. The book is arranged by calendar date, with each day's log a steppingstone into the past to set context or the future to show consequence. Thus the reader is treated to the ramblings and digressions that accompany self-awareness.

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Sojourners Magazine May 1993
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