OK, yeah, this isn't a laff-a-minute book. If you're familiar with Patton Oswalt's writing about pop culture and geek culture, you know there's more to him than screeching (hilariously!) about KFC.
This isn't Oswalt as stand-up comic; this is Oswalt as a capital-W Writer and a graceful, capable, observant storyteller. The guy's got heart, wit, skill, a real sense for the emotional core of a story, the courage to be unflinchingly candid and vulnerable, wry self-awareness, and miles of pop culture knowledge. The comic stories are hilarious, but the memoir-style stories of childhood and working in comedy are what really stuck with me. He's a great reader, too; his performance of the text is natural and charming.
I got the audiobook thinking I'd like it, but I guessed wrong -- I LOVED it. I've listened to it four or five times by now, and sure, some of the freshness has worn off from the repeated listening, but I can't stop admiring the craftsmanship of his writing.
And personally, I don't mind the REM quotes, because Oswalt is so obviously gleeful to have one of his heroes on his audiobook. Imagine your best friend squealing with excitement about a dream come true -- it's totally charming.
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