Bob Odenkirk is a legend in the comedy-writing world, winning Emmys and acclaim for his work on Saturday Night Live, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and many other seminal television shows. This book, his first, is a spleen-bruisingly funny omnibus that ranges from absurdist monologues ("Martin Luther King Jr.'s Worst Speech Ever") to intentionally bad theater ("Hitler Dinner Party: A Play"), from avant-garde fiction ("Obit for the Creator of Mad Libs") to free-verse poetry that's funnier and more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel, and Robert Louis Stevenson combined.
Odenkirk's debut resembles nothing so much as a hilariousnew sketch comedy show that's exclusively available as a streaming video for your mind. As Odenkirk himself writes in "The Second Meeting of Jesus and Lazarus," it is a book "to be read aloud to yourself in the voice of Bob Newhart".
©2014 Bob Odenkirk (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Perfect for a car trip with a person who shares none of your interests. Great, theatrical reading of short comic "skits."
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves Mr. Show or Bob Odenkirk's work on other shows. It reminds me of some of Steve Martin's essays.
This is an odd book to listen to, probably an odd book to begin with. As the fairly funny introduction implies, the best place to read this is probably the toilet. It has fairly short, separated bits that ought to be read in 3-5 minute breaks.
So, listening to it is another matter. Many of these bits really made me laugh. The best, like the one in which Odenkirk talks about how to write stupid reviews on Amazon, are really funny. They're clever and angry in just the right mix.
On the plus side, there are very few (if any) clunkers. Many are in the same vein as one another, however, with the result that some are less good than others. The result is that there are times it feels as if you've heard something before.
Odenkirk himself has such a satisfying voice that it makes the material come alive. The other readers are good, too, but they aren't in it enough to sustain a rhythm, so sometimes they feel as if they're interrupting his shtick.
While I did enjoy this, I couldn't help thinking I'd have enjoyed it even more as a series of 15-20 minute podcasts, as a kind of variety show for the 21st century. Barring that, I think I'd have enjoyed it even more if I'd read it in the bathroom.
Still, this is clever and a lot of fun, and Odenkirk has earned the right to explore his madness in a form like this one.
He's a very good writer. I just found parts not to be my form of humor. Glad it was short as I commit to hearing things through once I start- I think I'll stick with seeing him on tv
Bob Odenkirk is always great, but this would have been better ( and cheaper) to buy in dead tree format. If only I could read, I might be able to leave a full review explaining the pros and cons of the various parts I liked or disliked. Note to self: learn how to read, it will save you money on audiobooks.
Exactly what I expected from Mr. Odenkirk with an all star Mr. Show reunion of a cast reading it. Short, silly, and never serious.
I was disappointed. This just was not laugh-at-loud funny. Mildly amusing. The words used to shock have lost their punch, and the sketches are not clever enough to carry their weight on content.
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