Friday, September 09, 2016

Booknote: Why We Suck

Denis Leary, Why We Suck. Prince Frederick, MD: Audio Adventures, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-14-314255-3.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: humor, comedians
Format: audiobook on CD
Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library

I had read this book in print before, but it is quite a different experience listening to Denis Leary read it. Right from the beginning he begins to rant and rip on everyone. He definitely is not going to be politically correct, and you are getting fair warning. Much like I do, he hates asshats. As he writes,

"It's time to tear down the walls of the stupid and the inane. . . "

In the opening, he claims that he will piss people off. Again, you got warned. Read at your own risk.

Now despite the ranting, you often find a good amount of common sense in the book. An interesting bit was him talking positively about gay couples, who may often put to shame straight couples. Now keep in mind this book came out in 2008, a bit before the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision granting marriage rights to LGBTQIA people. I find it interesting to look back and see how things turned out.

His reading of the book is pretty much how he performs his stand-up comedy routines, though there is are some slightly calm moments here or there, if that is possible for him. Often those moments involve him recalling his childhood, his family, and other stories that are more personal. There are some pretty humane moments in this book. You laugh, often quite loudly. I know I had fun with his stories about his mother and his time growing up. But then you also find some nuggets of wisdom and common sense. For instance, he also has a great segment on raising kids and being grateful to his parents, scars and all. In a way, I was able to relate to that being raised by a hard working father and a devoted mom, both who made sure to put their kids first. You honestly do not see that anymore, and then we wonder why so many kids turn out so messed up as adults.

Another highlight is his rant on Starbucks and the pussification of America. This was a hoot. He reminds us that he did a full anti-Starbucks rant in his second album, Lock and Load. However, apparently that was not enough because he still had to say plenty on the topic in this book. He went right ahead and updated the rant for this book. This includes explaining why "barista" in Starbucks is a bullshit term we need to ditch now.

By the way, the book is an abridged version, but it is still a good five hours or so. I did enjoy the book better in this version. I have to say that I often laughed at some of the images he manages to convey. He is definitely not politically correct, but he also invokes and presents a good amount of common sense as he lampoons so much that is wrong and lazy in society today. This is one that I definitely enjoyed and really liked. I will warn readers it is not for the faint of heart.

4 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

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