Arts America (Book)

Arts America is like an AAA guide for all of the finer things, in a way that a number of similarly-marketed titles are not. Whether the event occurs in one of the book’s five major cities – New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, or San Francisco – or a slightly smaller metropolis (which includes but is not limited to places like Seattle, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and the like) – Compton is writing about it and giving readers the 411. The book also looks to rectify the plebeian underpinnings of popular review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, looking for the outright experience of the event rather than factoring in cost and other issues to the mix.

Perhaps the most interesting section of Arts America in my own case would be the section regarding the set up of events in the arts. Where there is an exhaustive view into the events held, Compton has done well in information those that want to push their cities ever closer to the cultural meccas that are Washington and Los Angeles. There is also a segment present about “Saving Money and Enjoying the Arts – at the Same Time”, but Compton’s reluctance to have price be an issue in eir reviews represents a freshness that is simply not present in a “play fair” America.

We can only hope that there are future editions of the title, to further capture the allure of America’s numerous festivals, attractions, and other happenings. With the way the economy is, I’d love to see subsequent editions released on a yearly basis, along with an active website in which individuals could weigh in on the information that Compton has provided. Still, as a look into the late-2009 scenes in ja number of America’s most happening city scapes, Arts America is a “must have” book. At a $25 list price, it will not detract from the possibility of interested individuals from stopping at these events.

Rating: 8.2/10

Arts America (Book) / 2009 Huntington Press / 544 Pages / $24.95 / http://www.huntingtonpress.com

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