Now, his popular new HBO television show, Real Time with Bill Maher, has put him more front and center than ever. In particular, one of the show's segments entitled "New Rules" has struck a chord with viewers. It's within his rules that Maher takes serious aim, bringing all his incisiveness, wit, and his signature exasperation to bear on topics ranging from cell phones ("I don't need my cell phone to take pictures or access the Internet. I just need to make a phone call. From everywhere! Not just the places it likes!") to fast food ("New Rule: No more McDonald's in hospitals. I'm not kidding!") to the conservative agenda ("Stop claiming it's an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass."), Maher brings these brilliantly conceived riffs to audio for the first time, along with some singularly Maher-ian "editorials", editorials nothing like the standard fare found on the pages of the local newspaper!
©2005 Bill Maher; (P)2005 Phoenix Audio
This is a series of witty assertions, and sardonic observations of current events and popular obsessions, cast from the author's down-to-earth populist attitude. The pace at which they come, and the brevity of each treatment, leaves little poetic cadence; the ditties and quips trip over themselves with no consistent verbal beat, a presentation which continually deflates the impact of the point being made. They are also often put in sequence that have a dissonance of topic or conclusion with their neighboring "New Rule"s that it jars the listener's ability to appreciate the author's witty subtleties or implications. Also not working well, are the author's deadpan reading of his own material, with the intonation of computerized text vocalizer, and the consequent flat witticism punchlines that often follow his "New Rule" commentaries. This might work better as a written book, perhaps. Perhaps if taken no more than 5 at a time, the books points of note would not be so tedious, and the quality of the observations could stand out. Basically the form here interferes with the content.
I enjoy Bill Maher on television, but I didn't care for "New Rules". This is a collection of snarky comments -- one after the other, and the other, and the other... Now, I like snarky comments as much as anyone, particularly of the political variety that is Bill Maher's specialty. However, if you're planning to listen for more than 15 minutes or so at a shot, it's a bit much.
Bill Maher is a very intelligent man, a great comedian and a wonderful social comentarian (is that even a word?) but this book is drivel. It is the second book I've ever abandoned in my life, (Ellen of the show of the same name wrote a book which was dreadfully difficult to listen too)
Great at commentary, yes, great at whiny one-liners, no.
Bill, stick to the stuff your good at, leave this poor style of critisim and comedy to Letterman.
Book is good to listen to in small chunks. If you try to listen to more than 30 minutes at a time I found it to be monotonous. Yes Bill tends to be more liberal than conservative but he actually classifies himself as a Libertarian. If you are sensitive politically I would avoid.
This "book" does not make the transition to audio very well, despite being read by the author. It is a bullet-point list of comments on various ills of our society. Bill does much better on TV or stand-up, but here he comes off sounding whiny and in some cases, needlessly offensive. I like Bill Maher, but not this audiobook. It did make me laugh, just not nearly enough!
This is pretty funny, but you should know that it really is just a list of humorous observations, each preceded with "NEW RULE:" A whole book of these 30 second pronouncements gets a little old, however, there are a few gems in the list.
As much as I agree with his politics and I enjoy that wry humor thing, it got a little old after a few hours. Plus, he seems really bitter. He wasn't really making jokes as much as making statements that seem like they're supposed to elicit a response like, "Yeah! Bush is so stupid!" (And I'm not Bush lover.) Thing is, this is based on a bit from a show. A whole book of a bit is like eating a bottle of rosemary because you enjoyed rosemary in a particular chicken dish. Borrow it, but don't buy it.
This audiobook is hilarious and a great listen to anyone who enjoys Bill Maher's HBO show. Nothing is exempt in this book from Bill Maher's perspective. Part of what makes this a great listen is that Bill speaks about things that we all have thought about but just haven't voiced it ourselves.
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