Weingarten takes immense pleasure in sifting through facts for meaning, then selecting the right language to draw readers close ... the stories in One Day are...dramatic, and all earn their ink ... The book ends up being a portrait of the nature of time itself, because we see clearly how events bleed into one another and overlap. Beginnings and endings are rarely clear-cut ... Very little goes off the rails in One Day, although I had a hard time wrapping my head around a chapter on race relations ... Thematically, these pieces tie together, but the chapter doesn't unfold with the organic elegance of others in the book. Much of this sounds heavy, but plenty of light seeps in ... Weingarten’s sharp wit supplies so much of the reading pleasure ... One Day is full of scenes and wordsmithing that can make a reader elbow her partner in the ribs and force him to listen to a read-aloud.
...a helluva good look at The Human Experience ... His stories are by turns sweet, rueful, horrifying and impossibly serendipitous ... There’s no real theme tying his stories together; the book reads like one of those compilations popular with journalists in the pre-Internet era, with titles like The Best Newswriting of 1986. But those books were good reads, and this one is, too. You’ll find it a collection of ripping yarns. That they don’t knit together into a whole doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of reading a master storyteller.
Writing with simplicity, Mr. Weingarten, a two-time Pulitzer winner, elegantly adds just enough detail to create a vivid picture and flesh out each story’s central figures. Only a few of these people have notoriety, making them all the more relatable. The 18 time-stamped stories move briskly through 24 hours of events occurring in widely disparate communities across the United States ... Whether examining singular motivation for a crime or the complexities of a relationship, Mr. Weingarten triggers our curiosity and creates suspense as we journey along with him on psyche-plumbing investigations ... Mr. Weingarten’s humor chops are on full display ... Gene Weingarten’s powerful retellings elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary and yield to an awakened sense of awe.
... filled with fascinating human-interest stories, told in a casual, conversational, you-are-there voice ... Other stories make for more incisive readings of the late ‘80s zeitgeist. And in each case, there’s nothing random about Weingarten’s choices. He’s been the judge of what’s relevant and important ... Weingarten offers a final coda, a little sermon about every day offering 'a soul-searing blast of the inexpressible wonder of being.' No doubt some of his subjects would heartily agree. Others, not so much.
Weingarten admits the book idea is a stunt but professes his love for stunts that tell unexpected truths ... Weingarten is an extraordinary reporter who mines vivid details from 33 years ago. Readers experience what people said, how they moved, what they thought. He claims to have conducted more than 500 interviews for this book, and it shows. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing can turn a phrase, too ... In one sense, this is book is like the proverbial box of chocolates. Some stories are better than others. The story of a murderer’s heart being transplanted hours after his death is gripping and haunting. The tale of a girl who grew up to be a tell-all blogger is neither. But the book adds up to something greater than the individual stories. People on that long-ago winter day experienced anger, pain, tension, happiness, doubt, satisfaction and hope. At his best, Weingarten taps into the wonder of what it is to be alive.
All happenstances continued to reverberate in surprising and often pivotal ways. The technological and scientific gains accomplished in the space of a few decades are also made plain, and the mid-1980s are evoked with just a twinge of nostalgia ... The results of this fascinating, well-researched narrative are conveyed with immediacy, insight, and humor. A solid choice for all readers.
As these series of episodic accounts show, there’s no such thing as an ordinary day—especially when a persistent reporter digs behind the headlines to uncover detailed backstories and follows through to update accounts of individuals whose lives were changed that day ... Everybody loves a good story, especially when it’s told by a master storyteller. This collection should have wide appeal, whether read straight through, cover to cover, or dipped into for an occasional article.
A captivating portrait ... His latest book is his most ambitious, with the author showing how much art a great journalist can wrest from a literary stunt with a theme as old as that of Thornton Wilder’s in Our Town ... Some of his entries give memorable glimpses of celebrities ... But Weingarten offers equally vivid profiles of the less well known ... One of the finest plain-prose stylists in American journalism, Weingarten tells his elegantly structured stories without sentimentality or melodrama ... A slice of American life carved out by a master of the form.
A nondescript day in the 1980s yields unsung but riveting stories in this fascinating journalistic fishing expedition ... Weingarten’s reportage gives these incidents and their legacies immediacy and freshness, conveyed with punchy, evocative prose ... The result is a trove of compelling human-interest pieces with long reverberations.