If there ever was a book that needed to be HEARD, rather than read, this is it! When you listen, you’d swear that Cavett does not have a printed page in front of him. Having only heard the audio – via the Audible version – and not seen the book, I can’t tell if he is adding some asides or not. Hey, I don’t care. This is “user friendly” Dick, who is among one of the top people I’d love to have a long conversation with. He is witty and funny and SMART! I was a big fan of all his TV shows and loved his first book, Cavett, which he wrote 30 years ago.That said, in all honesty, I have a problem giving the book 5 stars and I’ll explain why in a minute. As you may – or may not – know, this is a collection of essays that Cavett wrote for the New York Times in 2008 and 2009. They are read in chronological order. Cavett covers a large variety of subjects (just like his TV talk show; hence the book’s title) from celebrities he’s known (especially Groucho Marx) to the misuse of the English language. He tells about his high school reunion and going to magic conventions. These are all great! But then he discusses politics. I’m very much on Cavett’s side of issues and, if they were current, this would be great to read (and hear). But most of the columns were originally written during 2008 before the Presidential election and so Cavett spends a lot of time talking about John McCain, George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, among others. Barack Obama is hardly mentioned until after the election and, even then, he was newly in office. The Iraq War is covered but in a “time capsule” of what was happening then.
Even though this is only 2 ½ years after the columns were printed, the political columns are stale. The book was published in late 2010 and, in my opinion, should have been edited to reduce the number of “dated” columns. Not every column need to be included. even though I listened to the whole book all the way through, I feel I need to deduct one star because of the old material.
Martin has a great wit but his writing is different than his acting (He reads other people's words.). Heck it's only four minutes! Give it a chance. If you don't like this piece you probably won't like Woody Allen's short stories or even Mark Twain's. Same dry humor.
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