I'd listen to this book when my lover wasn't home because I didn't want him to get depressed. I like the book because I'm interested in the conflicts that happen when people pretend to be optimistic. It's really dark and claustrophobic. The father is a horrible, twisted monster of a man who prides himself on being good. It's hard to listen to the derisive nicknames and insults cloaked as baby-talk that he spews. It's a book about denial and shame. I thought it was amazing, but I like this kind of book.
The descriptions of ailments of the elderly in the first few minutes is ghastly, yet kind of funny.
I usually find him to be a very funny guy, but when telling his own story, he brags a lot. It sort of reads like a long form career bio/brag sheet where he details his professional accomplishments in chronological order and also gratuitously mentions famous people, who he's admired greatly or always dreamed about meeting, that called him on the phone to congratulate him on how well he did on this or that performance.
Even so, he did say things that were funny every so often, but the longer he talks, the funny becomes fewer and further between.
I'm not sure what might have happened to him that made him so funny when he's performing, because in the book he just seems obsessed with pleasing people, basically getting approval.
I was surprised that it stuck so closely to the resume. I don't imagine there are a lot of interesting secrets either, but it just seems there must be some more interesting day to day occurrences in his life - and not just things like what a proud parent he is.
I still haven't finished the last hour and a half because it's so boring.
Maybe if he wrote a book about something else it would be really good, like world affairs or science fiction or something. I do love his sense of humor.
This book really wonderfully written and wonderfully narrated. It's a book about ordinary, although very specific, individuals living in an ordinary setting of contemporary life. The main character thinks a lot, is obsessive, and we listen to his mind ruminating for most of the book. It's serious and believable and the characters in the book are really having fun for a while, although it's really a story of isolation, consequences and quite a bit of superstition. I liked it a lot. If you like novels that offer insight on the human condition, you will love this book.
This is a GREAT BOOK! Towards the middle, the reader discovers the secret to the American spirit and why we're now in a pickle. This book is packed with interesting information and deep characterization, many stories folding into profound realization... Great narrator too - a must read/listen! It was recommended by a guest on Ian Masters' Background Briefing.
The protagonist is vile, but the prose is beautiful. Throughout the story, I identified with this disgusting man - which I would normally never do - and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. There were moments I almost had to pause the book because I was so overwhelmed by the writer's creative and machine gun-like use of language. Also, the narrator is fantastic - REALLY fantastic.
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