Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
EDIT: Oh well, except for the men slapping around their women and children. I guess that wasn't a crime back in the "good old days", was it?
ORIG: So, clearly this is going to be a "good old days" kind of story where the MC reminisces about something that happened in the past. But was there ever a town where no crime had ever happened? A town untouched by the "terrible American wanting" for material things? I don't know yet if the MC is lying to us, or lying to himself, or if the author is expecting us to take it face value.