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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.”

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Uncle Touchy's Naked Puzzle Basement

If you could sum up Zombie Spaceship Wasteland in three words, what would they be?

Laugh out loud in the cubicle funny!! I snort when I laugh and had to leave the cubi-farm to have a massive laugh/snort/cry fit in the hall!

Who was your favorite character and why?

For anyone who has listened to Patton's stand up this explains a lot from his days in Virginia to becoming a stand up comic on the road he has a fascinatingly funny story to tell. Thoroughly enjoyable with ups and downs but all heart.

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

His Grandma explaining the presents!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When he is describing getting schwag from MTV and juxaposes it with his Grandma. Also, standing up to the sleazy Canadian Club Owner! These two stituations are very endearing and give a depth to Patton. Does make sense why he would rather spend his money on famous chefs than drugs!

Any additional comments?

Micheal Stipe is awesome!! Some of the funniest parts are the footnotes he provides a very off-the-cuff style to it. This book is very well read, it is literally like sitting down for a cup of coffee with him and asking: So how did you get to be so funny?

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  • Eubie
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico United States
  • 06-24-12

Like a young god

Where does Zombie Spaceship Wasteland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Easily one of the best all around. Comedians are uniquely privileged in being able to take pretty much absolute control of their own readings, and Patton makes the most of it. Granted you have to refer to a PDF here and there, but that's more than made up for by things like a series of fully-orchestrated hobo ditties and a cavalcade of silly, silly accents.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland?

The whole Zombie/Spaceship/Wasteland thing is a stunner, but going by what I remember most vividly, the bit where he described getting loaded with his underage buddies while plinking the (semi-willing) local skate-rats with pilfered airsoft guns was the standout scene for me.

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

All I can compare it to is his stand-up, but it's as good as that, the only major difference being the format let's him get away with (slightly) more conceptual humor than the usual live show might be able to support.

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

Definitely teared up here and there, again, see the titular chapter.

Any additional comments?

Pure gold for fans, comedy nerds and geeks in general, but also contains some fairly substantial nuggets for those more interested in the nuts and bolts of creative synthesis.

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Hilarous essays by Patton Oswalt

If you could sum up Zombie Spaceship Wasteland in three words, what would they be?

Hilarious Intelligent Gen-X

What did you like best about this story?

Oswalt's intelligent sense of humour.

What about Patton Oswalt’s performance did you like?

Since it is his own work, he really read it properly.

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  • Angela
  • Spring Valley, CA, United States
  • 05-14-12

I enjoyed it

Would you listen to Zombie Spaceship Wasteland again? Why?

I've listened twice already- it's hilarious!

What did you like best about this story?

It's a memoir and I enjoyed taking the trip down memory lane

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

I usually check out his stand up when I have the chance. He's a gifted storyteller and writer. I really liked the book.

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

Oh, the title is awesome as it

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  • Bill
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 05-07-12

I'm a Wasteland

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to my friends in comedy as well as non-comics looking for an opportunity to look inside a comedian's mind.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Reed is my favorite character. Since it's autobiographical, Patton should be my most favorite character. But this club manager he encountered is a fun new discovery.

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

I had the privilege to see Patton as he developed his comic persona in the late 90's in the alternative comedy scene at Largo in Hollywood. This is a very personal book, and he treats his readers and audience as good friends that he's sharing his

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was particularly moved by The Hobo Songs, and the story about the comedy club in Canada.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this book for the same reason I recommend Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up" -- it's a great peek into the world of a comic's life on the road and his creative process.

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  • Floyd
  • AURORA, CO, United States
  • 04-23-12

Oswalt in book from - more please

I enjoyed Oswalt's book a great deal. His observations into growing up into growing up off the cultural beaten path (and growing up in general) are entertaining as well as insightful. Fans of his stand up may be surprised by some of the books more poignant moments. Its not a cry-fest; there are plenty of outrageous anecdotes but some of the books highlights are passages Oswalt describing his relationship and observations of his uncle, and those of his first awareness of infideltiy through the the slits of a snow fort. Oswalt's stand up is amazing - I think I could be an even better writer.

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A Must Have For Any Comedy Nerd

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Patton Oswalt is one of the Best working stand-ups out there right now.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland?

A History of America from 1988 to 1996 As Recounted by the Three Types of Comedians I Opened for While Working Clubs on the Road. It's Simple amazing

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

Rodney.

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

Packed with Laugh Out Loud chapters and the memoir-stlye chapters are very enjoyable for those (like me) who like to get a look into the head of a comedian.

Any additional comments?

I hate to repeat myself but Patton Oswalt is one of the Best Working Stand-Ups out there right now. This is A MUST HAVE for any comedy nerd. I would also recommend picking up the Paperback print copy as there is some additional material.

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Music to my ears

I have happily re-listened to this brief yet entertaining piece in the range of tens of times. His voice is lulling and his point of view unique. It's like his memoir mixed with random imagined musings. Anyone who hangs out with Maynard is clearly the man. If you're already Patton fan you'll like this.

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First audio book from Audible I didn't finish

What disappointed you about Zombie Spaceship Wasteland?

Narration is terrible as far as loudness or volume. I listen to books on car road trips and this one required constant fiddling with the volume. Too soft, too loud.
If I had become interested in the story, maybe I would have continued to fiddle, but as the story seems geared to the music group REM's fans, and them alone, I couldn't be bothered.

Would you ever listen to anything by Patton Oswalt again?

no

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that was...weird!

What made the experience of listening to Zombie Spaceship Wasteland the most enjoyable?

Patton's voice rocks and his storytelling ability is such that even a lame story SOUNDS interesting enough to keep listening and remember.

Would you be willing to try another book from Patton Oswalt? Why or why not?

possibly. this memior hodgepodge thing was definitely... weird.

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

Descriptions of childhood and early performance experiences were my favorite. He was so normal and down to earth, I could relate.

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

no, not really. It was nice listening a little at a time as I took walks with my dog.

Any additional comments?

now I know how to play D and D. Thanks, Patton.