I really enjoyed this book. Oswalt's style of narration is reminiscent of Anthony Bourdain's writing. His stories are offbeat and my kind of humour.
Way too close
I already have recommended it to my friends who grew up in NOVA
First one - I will rent again.
Possibly, but the caveat is that I rarely listen to books twice. But on the other hand, if I could listen to it for the first time again, I would do that!!!
It's personal and (seems to be) heartfelt.
I could have, but I listen in the car and my trips are never that long.
Ok, finally I get to actually review this. I felt like he was sitting next to me in the car telling his stories--he was amazing at reading this. He also put a lot of effort into making the audio version of his book at least as good as the written version (I think it might have been better, given the music cuts and guest reader). I have liked Oswalt as a stand-up comedian and on TV and in movies, but wasn't sure if I cared enough for a memoir.Well, care about it. This is smart and amusing.
Comedians. American History. Nerds. Bring it!
i love this man's voice. i could listen to him for hours! oh wait. i did! yay!
i really love the Wines by the Glass characters.i laughed out loud while jogging when i first heard this chapter. by the way - it's very difficult to job AND laugh out loud. Darn you, Patton!
The Smile Hole!
Oswalt thinks himself cultured and literate. Unfortunately he sucks as a writer when he tries to overextend himself. This guy is just a medium talent comedian. Bleh. . .I have read some crappy comedy but I feel dirty after listening to Oswalt fill up time as he extensively goes over a crappy comedian's schtick (political jokes, topical humor, etc).
DONT BUY THIS! It sucks. . .get the first part if u can
If u must listen to it then wait for the public library to get it.
This guy sucks after 30 minutes. Fat pompous idiot.
This was by far the worst purchase I've made. It was not clever, funny or even entertaining.
Choose a different subject.
I expected to only like this audio book, not love it. I'm delighted to report that the latter was true, due to a surprisingly theatrical performance by the author, and a refreshingly thoughtful audio production.
I've always been a fan of Patton's stand-up comedy, and while his delivery and fresh approach to bit concepts always keeps me laughing, there are times when those qualities are solely what holds my attention, as the nearer to nerd-dom the subject matter gets, the harder I have to push my brain to stay focused. This isn't to say that D&D and sci-fi fantasy isn't a good comedic premise, I know it relates to a lot of people, but through some chemical imbalance in my brain as soon as I hear the words "wizard", "zombie", or "Star Wars" I switch into nap mode and find it hard to... I literally just yawned. The fact that the book title is made entirely of my personal bummer themes kept me from downloading the thing for a couple weeks, but eventually my appreciation for Patton's comedy won out, and I'm damn sure glad it did.
Don't get me wrong, this audio book is nerdy. If you love nerd things, especially early science fiction novels, retro alien flicks, and Fugazi (bonus drinking game potential here. take a shot every time the band is mentioned and there's a good chance you'll finish the audio book with your head in the toilet), you'll love it. Nothing that makes me love this audio book will make you dungeon masters dislike it. The real saving grace for me personally was the sheer quality of the delivery. I shouldn't be surprised, having (legally) downloaded all of Patton's albums, I'm familiar with his ability to turn the uninteresting (changing diapers, KFC, etc...) into the riveting, but what I expected to be a push through the sci-fi to the good stuff turned out to be the first time I've ever been intrigued by geek talk. Oswalt's reading performance was energetic at the peaks, measured and suspenseful when appropriate, and at times downright poetic. Halfway through the first chapter I forgot it was an audio book and realized I was listening to it more as a solo theater show, or monologue.
Coupled with a refreshing laissez faire approach to the reading (a couple minor speech hiccups or stammers were preserved, and chapter introductions were, if not improvised, convincingly scripted) was a keen production sense. Audio cues were sparse but appropriately timed, bonus audio content was a real treat. That being said, you could almost hear the producer in the background, leaving the booth to go for coffee as Patton ran his own show. The lack of over-direction is something I wish more audio books would aim for. Too often the forced find-and-replace transition from written text to audio book ("thank you for readi--I mean, listening to this boo--I mean, audio book.") is made even worse by an inflexibility of the producer, and the end product sometimes feels more like a computer text annotator than a performance by the author.
I could go on... so I will.
The real genius here is that Patton doesn't really have much to say. This is less a memoir than it is a collection of short story premises drawn from experience, on which Oswalt builds a rich and intriguing set, careful to fill in every detail, but with an efficiency that keeps each beat fresh. One story has little to do with the other, and it really doesn't matter. Oswalt could publish 6 more of these before he should ever feel the need to "look back" and tie it all together. Where do I pre-order?
Bonuses to look forward to:
-Disgustingly hilarious Hobo songs
-The best translation of visual humor to audio format (greeting cards read aloud)
-Michael freaking Stipe
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend who enjoys Patton Oswalt's comedic style. If my friend enjoyed reflective childhood stories or tales of a struggling comedian, then I would definitely recommend it.
What I liked best about the story was Patton Oswalt's performance of the book; at times it seemed as if he was having a conversation with me while I listened. Oswalt's rapid-fire comedic style shows up immediately as he reads he introduction to the audiobook; this makes the book enjoyable to listen.
The book had me laughing in parts; there were others where mostly I was surprised by the author's honesty and clarity in his stories.
I'm a pop culture writer and editor living in San Francisco who commutes about half an hour with audio books five days a week. I go through a lot of audio books.
Patton Oswalt has been one of my favorite comedians for a long time, and I'm probably exactly the target audience he had in mind while writing this book (nerdy, literate, and into R.E.M.), so yeah it won me over. But clocking in 3 hrs, 31 min, this felt more like an extended comedy album than a book, especially since Patton narrates it.
Patton is really on top of his game when he's on the biographical stuff. All the material about growing up in his hometown is brilliant. He knows what matters, and why it's poignant, and he brings it home in a way that's just enormously disarming and even touching. He lost me a little bit on some of the comedy bits he throws between the chapters, but I sort of count those as bonus material anyway, so it didn't bother me much. Speaking of bonus material, getting Michael Stipe to read his own lyrics was a nice little touch for the audio book.
The book is a series of essays that sort of kind of all connect together, and I wish there was more to it. By the time it ends it feels like it was just getting started, so it would be great if there was about twice as much material.
There's some great extras in the audiobook not in the print copy. Oswalt frequently makes asides. Michael Stipe from REM does some of the reading. Also the songs in the "Songs for Hobos" chapter are recorded with music.
Songs for Hobos
I love his stand up, and this book is just as funny as he is on stage. He's not pressured to appease an audience here though, so he's able to get more in depth with certain things. He' s a very talented writer
Yes and I did.
It was a little short. I wanted more.