From a 2017 Pulitzer-winning newspaperman, an ode to America's heartland as seen in small-town Iowa—a story of reinvention and resilience, environmental and economic struggle, and surprising diversity and hope.
An engaging storyteller, Cullen recounts the deeds (and misdeeds) of youth, but his writer’s passion shines when he discusses the events that led him to write the prize-winning editorials ... The moral, economic, and social history of a small town in Iowa might not seem like much of a story, but in Cullen’s hands, it is.
This book, though, feels rushed. Too much of Storm Lake consists of broadsides, suppositional reporting and thinly drawn character sketches. Cullen has an unfortunate tendency toward armchair editorializing rather than grounded reporting ... While Cullen’s writing is impassioned, a plea for the rest of us not to dismiss places like Storm Lake, the prose too often feels careless and imprecise ... I don’t mean to sound cranky, but this book feels like a missed opportunity... I wanted to cherish this book, to feel I could pass it on to young aspiring reporters, to get them to consider working at papers like The Storm Lake Times.
In Storm Lake, a collection of memoiristic essays, Art Cullen makes a strong and eloquent case that his home state is hardly an outlier to these shifts, but more of a microcosm of national trends ... This little newspaper’s survival in this shifting economic and social landscape is a story Cullen tells with a self-effacing, homespun honesty — and not without a little well-earned pride ... the man prints the truth.