Friday, January 02, 2015

Booknote: It's Not Funny If I Have to Explain It: a Dilbert Book

Scott Adams,  It's Not Funny If I Have To Explain It: A Dilbert Book. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel, 2004. ISBN: 9780740746581.

I have been on a bit of a bender in reading Dilbert books recently. Overall, the strip is not perfect; some days, Adams is funnier than others, but as a whole the strip is always worth reading. Adams' characters always have something that speaks truth to the workers' condition and ridicules the bad management we often endure. This does include librarians, who often face bad management as well (though don't say this too loud, or the "good" ones may get defensive and yell "NALT"). At any rate, this book is a bit different than others. This is one big selection of Adams' favorite strips. He says he "handpicked every comic in here, according to a fuzzy, ever-shifting sense of what my best work has been in recent years. Mostly, I picked the ones that make me laugh out loud despite seeing them a zillion times. There is no guarantee that my favorites will be your favorites, but it seemed a reasonable place to start" (from the book's introduction).

Adams is right in that regard. Some of his favorites may not be my favorites. But for the most part I smiled and/or laughed as I read the book. There are some really good strips in here. Odds are good that if you've read Dilbert regularly, you've clipped one or two strips that are featured in this book. What makes this book different is the added commentary. Under each strip, Adams explains why he thought a strip was funny, or naughty, or one that he got correspondence about (positive or negative). We get a small glimpse of the artist thinking. These comments are sometimes insightful, sometimes not, but they add a bit more to the book. Overall, this is a pretty good compilation of classic strips and a book fans will likely enjoy.

I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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