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Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book by Patton Oswalt | [Patton Oswalt]

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book by Patton Oswalt

Oswalt combines memoir with uproarious humor, from snow forts to Dungeons & Dragons to gifts from Grandma that had to be explained. He remem­bers his teen summers spent working in a movie Cineplex and his early years doing stand-up. Readers are also treated to several graphic elements, includ­ing a vampire tale for the rest of us and some greeting cards with a special touch.
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Publisher's Summary

Prepare yourself for a journey through the world of Patton Oswalt, one of the most creative, insightful, and hysterical voices on the entertain­ment scene today. Widely known for his roles in the films Big Fan and Ratatouille, as well as the television hit The King of Queens, Patton Oswalt—a staple of Comedy Central—has been amusing audiences for decades. Now, with Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, he offers a fascinating look into his most unusual, and lovable, mindscape.

Oswalt combines memoir with uproarious humor, from snow forts to Dungeons & Dragons to gifts from Grandma that had to be explained. He remem­bers his teen summers spent working in a movie Cineplex and his early years doing stand-up. Readers are also treated to several graphic elements, includ­ing a vampire tale for the rest of us and some greeting cards with a special touch. Then there’s the book’s centerpiece, which posits that before all young creative minds have anything to write about, they will home in on one of three story lines: zom­bies, spaceships, or wastelands.

Oswalt chose wastelands, and ever since he has been mining our society’s wasteland for perversion and excess, pop culture and fatty foods, indie rock and single-malt scotch. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is an inventive account of the evolution of Patton Oswalt’s wildly insightful worldview, sure to indulge his legion of fans and lure many new admirers to his very entertaining “wasteland.”

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Simon & Schuster (P)2011 Lord Loudoun, Inc

What the Critics Say

"Patton Oswalt is a brilliant rarity; a relentlessly creative and original comic who is also a superb writer. If you don’t buy this book you are a fool and I will, I swear, fight you.” (Conan O’Brien)

Fans of Patton Oswalt’s standup comedy have always known he was a born writer at heart, and now here’s the proof. This is a surprisingly affecting, sincere and daresay vulnerable collection of essays, all keenly observed, always very funny.” (Dave Eggers)

“Perfect—I can describe Patton’s book the same way I describe his stand up—brilliant and prolific, I am slackjawed, amazed, and left feeling both inspired and fraudulent.” (Sarah Silverman)

“Patton Oswalt is among the funniest on-stage talking humans I am aware of, so it annoys me deeply that he is also an incredibly talented writer. It annoys me, but it does not surprise me. Every sentence in this book is funny (except for the sad ones), but it also brims with Oswalt-ian smarts and surprising poignancy.” (John Hodgman)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (846 )
5 star
 (313)
4 star
 (258)
3 star
 (198)
2 star
 (51)
1 star
 (26)
Overall
3.8 (592 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (151)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (21)
Story
4.3 (596 )
5 star
 (311)
4 star
 (177)
3 star
 (82)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (13)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    michael Locust Grove, GA, United States 06-11-11
    michael Locust Grove, GA, United States 06-11-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "not that funny"

    i like patton, he's a funny dude.but this book is not funny and jumps all over the place. maybe i just was in the wrong mood, but i just didnt get much enjoyment out of it

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian V. Gregory Montana, USA 02-25-15
    Brian V. Gregory Montana, USA 02-25-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a lover of good books, good Chinese food, and good Scandinavian Heavy Metal music.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too damned short...I want more!!!"

    I am a die-hard Patton Oswalt fan. This was a much more intimate look into the mind of an adorable mad-genius than his stand-up routines. I wish there would have been more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 02-02-15
    Philip 02-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
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    "Not a Full Meal"

    There are four major essays here, and they range from pretty good to classic Oswalt. The title essay describing teenagers as falling into one of three groups is just wonderful. The article about working in a subterranean mall cineplex goes on too long, but the lyrics read by Michael Stipe rock. The last two articles about being on the road in the 1990s feel like two parts of the same article, and are reasonably funny and insightful, but again, go on to long.

    Sorry to say, despite the effort that went into an fully illustrated chapter and fake hobo songs, the rest of the book feels either like filler (I wasn't all that interested in his childhood snow fort) or a clever idea that doesn't really work, or both. The hobo songs are especially irksome. The music is actually nice, but the whole "I'm singing ridiculously rude things only to claim they mean something else" is very one note and juvenile.

    Having said that, it all goes down really easy; I mean, it's only 3 1/2 hours of material.

    If you do buy the book, make sure to download the PDF so you can see the illustrated chapter; the artwork is quite nice. I didn't realize a PDF existed until I heard about it in the book. You can find the PDF in your library just right of the jacket illustration where it says "PDF".

    So, to summarize, I continue to be a gigantic Oswalt fan, and have just purchased his second book, which is a real dandy concept. I just wish this book had more first rate Oswalt in it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 01-11-14
    Stephen 01-11-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Liked it but very short and scattered"
    If you could sum up Zombie Spaceship Wasteland in three words, what would they be?

    Way too close


    Would you recommend Zombie Spaceship Wasteland to your friends? Why or why not?

    I already have recommended it to my friends who grew up in NOVA


    Have you listened to any of Patton Oswalt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First one - I will rent again.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    NA


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Sherman Greenville, FL USA 10-16-13
    P. Sherman Greenville, FL USA 10-16-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"
    Would you listen to Zombie Spaceship Wasteland again? Why?

    Possibly, but the caveat is that I rarely listen to books twice. But on the other hand, if I could listen to it for the first time again, I would do that!!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's personal and (seems to be) heartfelt.


    Which character – as performed by Patton Oswalt – was your favorite?

    Er....himself?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could have, but I listen in the car and my trips are never that long.


    Any additional comments?

    Ok, finally I get to actually review this. I felt like he was sitting next to me in the car telling his stories--he was amazing at reading this. He also put a lot of effort into making the audio version of his book at least as good as the written version (I think it might have been better, given the music cuts and guest reader). I have liked Oswalt as a stand-up comedian and on TV and in movies, but wasn't sure if I cared enough for a memoir.Well, care about it. This is smart and amusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Autumn 07-19-13
    Autumn 07-19-13 Member Since 2010

    Comedians. American History. Nerds. Bring it!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A right chickamoo!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    i love this man's voice. i could listen to him for hours! oh wait. i did! yay!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    i really love the Wines by the Glass characters.i laughed out loud while jogging when i first heard this chapter. by the way - it's very difficult to job AND laugh out loud. Darn you, Patton!


    Which character – as performed by Patton Oswalt – was your favorite?

    Patton Oswalt!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Smile Hole!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward San Antonio, TX, United States 05-17-13
    Edward San Antonio, TX, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    60
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    0
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    "started decent then sucked. . yech. ."

    Oswalt thinks himself cultured and literate. Unfortunately he sucks as a writer when he tries to overextend himself. This guy is just a medium talent comedian. Bleh. . .I have read some crappy comedy but I feel dirty after listening to Oswalt fill up time as he extensively goes over a crappy comedian's schtick (political jokes, topical humor, etc).

    DONT BUY THIS! It sucks. . .get the first part if u can

    If u must listen to it then wait for the public library to get it.

    This guy sucks after 30 minutes. Fat pompous idiot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Millbury, OH, United States 05-09-13
    David Millbury, OH, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull and Unimaginative"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This was by far the worst purchase I've made. It was not clever, funny or even entertaining.


    What could Patton Oswalt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Choose a different subject.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amos PORTLAND, OR, United States 03-11-13
    Amos PORTLAND, OR, United States 03-11-13

    Some guy.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
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    "Engrossing performance, rich production."

    I expected to only like this audio book, not love it. I'm delighted to report that the latter was true, due to a surprisingly theatrical performance by the author, and a refreshingly thoughtful audio production.

    I've always been a fan of Patton's stand-up comedy, and while his delivery and fresh approach to bit concepts always keeps me laughing, there are times when those qualities are solely what holds my attention, as the nearer to nerd-dom the subject matter gets, the harder I have to push my brain to stay focused. This isn't to say that D&D and sci-fi fantasy isn't a good comedic premise, I know it relates to a lot of people, but through some chemical imbalance in my brain as soon as I hear the words "wizard", "zombie", or "Star Wars" I switch into nap mode and find it hard to... I literally just yawned. The fact that the book title is made entirely of my personal bummer themes kept me from downloading the thing for a couple weeks, but eventually my appreciation for Patton's comedy won out, and I'm damn sure glad it did.

    Don't get me wrong, this audio book is nerdy. If you love nerd things, especially early science fiction novels, retro alien flicks, and Fugazi (bonus drinking game potential here. take a shot every time the band is mentioned and there's a good chance you'll finish the audio book with your head in the toilet), you'll love it. Nothing that makes me love this audio book will make you dungeon masters dislike it. The real saving grace for me personally was the sheer quality of the delivery. I shouldn't be surprised, having (legally) downloaded all of Patton's albums, I'm familiar with his ability to turn the uninteresting (changing diapers, KFC, etc...) into the riveting, but what I expected to be a push through the sci-fi to the good stuff turned out to be the first time I've ever been intrigued by geek talk. Oswalt's reading performance was energetic at the peaks, measured and suspenseful when appropriate, and at times downright poetic. Halfway through the first chapter I forgot it was an audio book and realized I was listening to it more as a solo theater show, or monologue.

    Coupled with a refreshing laissez faire approach to the reading (a couple minor speech hiccups or stammers were preserved, and chapter introductions were, if not improvised, convincingly scripted) was a keen production sense. Audio cues were sparse but appropriately timed, bonus audio content was a real treat. That being said, you could almost hear the producer in the background, leaving the booth to go for coffee as Patton ran his own show. The lack of over-direction is something I wish more audio books would aim for. Too often the forced find-and-replace transition from written text to audio book ("thank you for readi--I mean, listening to this boo--I mean, audio book.") is made even worse by an inflexibility of the producer, and the end product sometimes feels more like a computer text annotator than a performance by the author.

    I could go on... so I will.

    The real genius here is that Patton doesn't really have much to say. This is less a memoir than it is a collection of short story premises drawn from experience, on which Oswalt builds a rich and intriguing set, careful to fill in every detail, but with an efficiency that keeps each beat fresh. One story has little to do with the other, and it really doesn't matter. Oswalt could publish 6 more of these before he should ever feel the need to "look back" and tie it all together. Where do I pre-order?

    Bonuses to look forward to:

    -Disgustingly hilarious Hobo songs
    -The best translation of visual humor to audio format (greeting cards read aloud)
    -Michael freaking Stipe

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel HORIZON CITY, TX, United States 12-21-12
    Daniel HORIZON CITY, TX, United States 12-21-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "An honest, intimate account of a comedian's life."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to a friend who enjoys Patton Oswalt's comedic style. If my friend enjoyed reflective childhood stories or tales of a struggling comedian, then I would definitely recommend it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best about the story was Patton Oswalt's performance of the book; at times it seemed as if he was having a conversation with me while I listened. Oswalt's rapid-fire comedic style shows up immediately as he reads he introduction to the audiobook; this makes the book enjoyable to listen.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book had me laughing in parts; there were others where mostly I was surprised by the author's honesty and clarity in his stories.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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