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.
Listen to this book! You won't regret it. Excellent stories and interesting theories about mankind, presented by an extraordinarily hilarious human being.
Personally, it felt like Patton Oswalt was trying way too hard to make his life seem interesting. Attempting to spin the mundane into something someone might want to hear, and using every big word he could possibly think of. Wish I could get my money back on this one.
Laugh out loud in the cubicle funny!! I snort when I laugh and had to leave the cubi-farm to have a massive laugh/snort/cry fit in the hall!
For anyone who has listened to Patton's stand up this explains a lot from his days in Virginia to becoming a stand up comic on the road he has a fascinatingly funny story to tell. Thoroughly enjoyable with ups and downs but all heart.
His Grandma explaining the presents!
When he is describing getting schwag from MTV and juxaposes it with his Grandma. Also, standing up to the sleazy Canadian Club Owner! These two stituations are very endearing and give a depth to Patton. Does make sense why he would rather spend his money on famous chefs than drugs!
Micheal Stipe is awesome!! Some of the funniest parts are the footnotes he provides a very off-the-cuff style to it. This book is very well read, it is literally like sitting down for a cup of coffee with him and asking: So how did you get to be so funny?
Just hilarious. And in many places very affecting. Just well done from start to finish; Patton's performance really shines through in his material too.
Easily one of the best all around. Comedians are uniquely privileged in being able to take pretty much absolute control of their own readings, and Patton makes the most of it. Granted you have to refer to a PDF here and there, but that's more than made up for by things like a series of fully-orchestrated hobo ditties and a cavalcade of silly, silly accents.
The whole Zombie/Spaceship/Wasteland thing is a stunner, but going by what I remember most vividly, the bit where he described getting loaded with his underage buddies while plinking the (semi-willing) local skate-rats with pilfered airsoft guns was the standout scene for me.
All I can compare it to is his stand-up, but it's as good as that, the only major difference being the format let's him get away with (slightly) more conceptual humor than the usual live show might be able to support.
Definitely teared up here and there, again, see the titular chapter.
Pure gold for fans, comedy nerds and geeks in general, but also contains some fairly substantial nuggets for those more interested in the nuts and bolts of creative synthesis.
Hilarious Intelligent Gen-X
Oswalt's intelligent sense of humour.
Since it is his own work, he really read it properly.
I've listened twice already- it's hilarious!
It's a memoir and I enjoyed taking the trip down memory lane
I usually check out his stand up when I have the chance. He's a gifted storyteller and writer. I really liked the book.
Oh, the title is awesome as it
I'd recommend it to my friends in comedy as well as non-comics looking for an opportunity to look inside a comedian's mind.
Reed is my favorite character. Since it's autobiographical, Patton should be my most favorite character. But this club manager he encountered is a fun new discovery.
I had the privilege to see Patton as he developed his comic persona in the late 90's in the alternative comedy scene at Largo in Hollywood. This is a very personal book, and he treats his readers and audience as good friends that he's sharing his
I was particularly moved by The Hobo Songs, and the story about the comedy club in Canada.
I recommend this book for the same reason I recommend Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up" -- it's a great peek into the world of a comic's life on the road and his creative process.