Holy Land is a real masterpiece. Waldie's thought, care, and attention to detail surface on every page.
The subject: Lakewood. Platonic ideal of suburb.
The tone: humane resignation entirely lacking in bitterness. Unsparing but affectionate without lapsing into derision at one pole or sentimentality at the other.
The narrator: As far as I can tell some unique combination of T.S. Elliot at the bank, J.L. Borges wandering his father's library, and James Lileks on qualudes.
The Southern California history and sociology lessons: Abundant