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This is the first edition of "Best American Essays" that I have read, and I expected at least a few literary or political essays. As edited by Cheryl Strayed, however, the essays in the 2013 edition are uniformly, heavily personal. The only partial exceptions are Zadie Smith's "Some Notes on Attunement," which begins with Smith's youthful distaste for the music of Joni Mitchell and continues into a consideration of Kierkegaard, and John Jeremiah Sullivan's "Ghost Estates," in which Sullivan concludes that only J.M. Synge of all Irish writers could capture the Irish people in the perilous situation they face today. Otherwise, the accent throughout this volume is strictly on pesonal reminiscence, and mostly on personal tragedy.
There were some funny one-liners, but overall just not a funny movie. I found myself wondering "How much longer until this is over?" Have a crossword puzzle or something handy .... You'll need it.