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'Taking Things Seriously' is a wonder cabinet of seventy-five unlikely thingamajigs that have been invested with significance and transformed into totems, talismans, charms, relics, and fetishes: scraps of movie posters scavenged from the streets of New York by Low Life author Luc Sante; the World War I helmet that inoculated social critic Thomas Frank against jingoism; the trash-picked, robot-shaped hairdo machine described by its owner as a chick magnet; the bagel burned by actor Christopher Walken while moonlighting as a short-order cook. The owners of these objects convey their excitement in short, often poignant essays that invite readers to participate in the enjoyable act of interpreting things.
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