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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Franken, the veteran comedian. Franken, the aspiring senator. Both are present in this sharp-tongued indictment of journalists, politicians, and our government. Depending on your political leanings, you'll revel in Franken's research and hoot over his humor, or you'll fume over his accusations and snarl over his exaggerations. Either way, he'll leave you howling! — Beth Anderson

Publisher's Summary

Al Franken, "one of our savviest satirists" ( People), takes on the issues, the politicians, and the pundits in one of the most anticipated books of the year.

Once again, the author of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene, leaving the powers-that-be in tatters and his audience in hysterics. Al Franken thrives on being in the opposition, and now that the Republican party controls both the Oval Office and Congress, the gloves are off and the satire is fast and furious.

Franken's specialty is using his targets' own words to make comedic and political points. Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and host of post-Limbaugh talk-radio gasbags. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

Listen to Al Franken talk about Lies on Fresh Air from September 3, 2003.
©2003 AL Franken (P)2003 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

  • Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2003

"In the kicking, spitting spirit of all-star political discourse, Al Franken gives as good as he gets." (New York Times) "Riotous...provocative reading for everyone.... Franken's sardonic critique of our culture of political disinformation is serious business." (Minneapolis Star Tribune) "Memo to Fox: Hire Al Franken." (Business Week)

What members say

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Time to reread this book

New cast of characters but same old dirty tricks. This book's premise and research is still relevant and funny. I'm glad I reread it at this moment in history.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pierre
  • New Minas, NS, Canada
  • 09-23-04

Bang on!

I would not generally consider myself a liberal, but I was thoroughly entertained by Franken's book. He is very funny.

It's important to listen to people who set the record straight. Falsehoods should not be allowed on any side of the political spectrum.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Nice Work, Al

What can I say, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. Franken is funny, he rants at times, is occasionally petty and is totally unapologetic to his subjects.

Too many people believe the likes of O'Reilly, Coulter, Limbaugh, etc., without taking the time to check their reports and claims for truthfulness. Al has done some legwork (with the aid of his tireless research team) and found that these talking heads aren't always completely accurate...and that sometimes they plain, old LIE.

Yes, Al does his finger pointing at the conservatives, the right wing, the neo-cons or whatever you want to call that bunch, but it's no surprise - Al's a liberal. Just ask him!

Bottom line:

If you are liberal, progressive or a "lefty", and enjoy Franken's brand humor, listen to this book. I think you'll really like it! However;

If you get all of your news from FoxNews, don't bother reading this book. It will probably just make you mad. From what I hear, you may want to start checking a second news source for FACTS...just in case...

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A laugh at the sad truth.

This book really makes you wonder how so many people in this country can be in such a state of denial about the current state of affairs of our government. It tells the sad truth about right wing media bias and the lies they spin or cover up. The humor of the book keeps you from falling into a major state of depression over the facts provided. Wake up America becuase you, your kids and their kids are being robbed of their future in broad daylight while you stare straight at the thieves on your TV set. I wish everyone would take the time to listen to the truth this book offers. As presented, the truth doesn't hurt quite as much. Thank you Al for going out on a limb and speaking out on these issues.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Unfortunately Timeless

Where does Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Like Jonathan Swift, Al Franken's satire is both sharp and biting yet clearly stems from a deep love and concern for humanity. Written during the first term of the George W. Bush administration, this book would seem to be out-of-date, but, while some of the names have changed, (and Franken now serves as a U. S. Senator for Minnesota), the same propaganda machine is still running strong.

What about Al Franken’s performance did you like?

His timing is always impeccable. He is a comic genius and a rapier wit.

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

I think I would probably cry if I listened all at once. While many conspiracy theories abound about the left, the right lays out their intentions in myriad think tanks and other public documents for everyone to read. Tragically, humans are much keener to believe an unfounded conspiracy than an outright lie spoken in broad daylight.

Any additional comments?

If anything, this book helps to put the 2016 election in perspective. We've been through this before. Different-looking sheep's clothing, same wolves.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Satire? Mr. Franken needs a dictionary.

I was thouroughly disappointed with this "satirical" effort by Mr. Franken. As a well known comedian and commentator to an extent, I was expecting a well thought out, laugh out loud, satirical look on the right wing political scene. Instead what I found was a mean spirited, at times very crass and demeaning to the people and "institutions" onto which he set his sights. I found myself embarrased that this was the voice given to those that have heartfelt disagreements with the faces of the conservative media and those in political office at this time. This is indeed a troubling time in America and if you are looking to this book for some comic/satirical relief you will be disappointed....Mr. Franken doesn't seem to have the definition of satire quite right yet.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 10-02-03

A thoroughly enjoyable

As what appears to be the first review of this audio book from a non-US reader, I have 4 things to say about "Lies...": 1) it is incredibly refreshing to get a perspective of US political discourse from an American author who can use both humour and intelligence to illustrate some of the clearly hypocritical and downright dishonest statements being published not only by the conservative media but also by the supposed mainstream media; 2) it is very unlikely that a rebuttal that Franken has lied in this book (see a few of the other reviews here) will ever be convincing as the very random review I made of his facts easily held up to my scrutiny; 3) I laughed out loud a lot while I listened to this book, which occasionally embarrassed me as it was sometimes in public and others looked at me strangely but which I take as a rounding endorsement of this book; 4) I found (and I swear that neither I nor anyone in my acquaintance is any way related to Audible nor am I benefiting in any way by saying this) that listening to the Audible version of this book was in all ways superior to the written version entirely due to the incredible way Franken is able to use inflection and accent to enhance the spoken version --- to add to this the Audible version of this book has actual audio excerpts of the Wellstone memorial service that made me extremely emotional.

Buy this book unless you are absolutely determined to be a closed minded conservative. If you are positively determined to be closed minded, then write some stupid comment in your review, and give this book only one star.

32 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

'Bout Damn Time!

I am a 30ish caucasian male. I am a husband and father. I own a home. I am military veteran. I am a small business owner. I hate paying taxes. I am, in other words, at the bullseye of the demographic target for Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and their ilk. As a member of that demographic, I state categorically that I love this book!

Al Franken is the voice of moderation, reason, and sanity in a media universe populated by cynical mouthpieces for the RNC and timerous mainstream editors and publishers who won't stand up to them, or stand up for the truth.

Unlike Limbaugh's cheap-spot left-wing doppelganger Michael Moore, Franken actually is "fair and balanced." His only agenda is truth and decency in reporting. You will revel in his witty destruction of the new media of slander, distortion, and intimidation led by Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, and Hannity.

Audible members: listen to this book and let the scales fall from your eyes!

61 of 89 people found this review helpful

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I listened to All's current book and loved it. Fantastic, insightful, informing and entertaining. So I immediately downloaded this boom for the same experience. I was very dissapointed. It is a long, whiney rant with too much name calling and profanity. I am so pleased that Al chose a different tact for his recent release and know we all change and morph.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy
  • Oak City, NC, United States
  • 09-16-11

A bit dated, but more factual than most of genre

Things I liked about this book:
-Franken had due diligence to ascertaining his facts with a team to help him. This made the book more than a rant against conservatives, and a genuine political commentary.
-With these facts he removed the facade of a lot of conservative voices.
-I also always enjoy when the author reads his/her book.
What I did not like:
-In terms of politics, it is dated. The wounds of 9/11 were still fresh, and much of the dialogue refers back to the Clinton era. Nonetheless, many of the voices he refers to (O'Riley Hannity, Coulter, Fox, Limbaugh) are still quite active.
What I found ironic:
-I think the biggest irony of this book is many of the things he blames on the Bush era seem to be repeating with a Democrat in power. 1. High unemployment 2. Rising debt 3. He faults Bush for blaming the Clinton era for 9/11 and other problems. It seems the current administration blames the Bush era for its current problems.
Because it is eight years old, not sure if I would recommend it to everyone, but it is a fairly short, informative and fun listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 12-03-13

Fair and Balanced

I listened to this audiobook ten years after it was released, but I still learned new information, and the subject matter is as evocative as ever. I find myself wishing for a new, similarly themed book from Mr Franken. This book is well researched, fair, and funny, from an author not inclined to take himself too seriously, but his subject matter very much so.

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  • Elephant908
  • 09-08-11

Not bad, but he is no PJ Orourke

Liberal, acceptable and politically correct, Al is rarely laugh out loud hilarious, but there is some good stuff here on Fox News.

Recommend if you're a lonely liberal who likes to hear another liberal rambling for hours, kind of in a Jewish way.

Yes good, but not side splittingly hilarious.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ADS
  • 09-19-17


Could have been written yesterday, rather than over a decade ago. Incredibly fresh, punchy, laugh out loud funny, and right on point about what afflicts political discourse in the US. Stunning achievement.