Friday, August 05, 2005

Booknote: Nothing's Sacred

Title: Nothing's Sacred
Author: Lewis Black
Publication Information: New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-87647-5
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Humor
Pages: 217

This is the first book by The Daily Show's resident curmudgeon Lewis Black. If you have seen him on the show, or you have seen his stand-up routines, then you know what to expect in this book. In fact, a part of the book has material that you may have seen in his stand-up routines. However, the book is also a memoir as Mr. Black tells of his childhood, his days in college during the turbulent sixties, and his struggling career as a playwright. Jon Stewart is quoted in the back cover as saying about Lewis Black: "Lewis Black is the only person I know who can actually yell in print form. Very entertaining read." This is definitely very true. The tone of the prose almost sounds like he is yelling and ranting at times. If you have heard him before, then you can practically hear his voice as you read the book. For fans, this may be a strength. Yet, the humor can be appreciated and enjoyed even if one has not seen his performances before. He blends humor and some warmth (not much, a little); he makes you think at times, and at times, he makes you want to yell as well. His story about auditioning for a television role where the character was basically him is worth reading, and this is just one example. He challenges authority every chance he gets, and he delights in pointing out the foibles and snafus of those in power. Then, he explains how working for the government really works, and asks what is the deal with so many Starbucks locations. In terms of pacing, this is a fast and easy read. It is written pretty much as he would speak in a performance. There is some language; I don't think it is much, but a warning to other readers. I do recommend this book for a good laugh and an entertaining time.

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