I struggled to finish this book, and I am struggling to write a review of it. I am loathe to write anything remotely negative about the author of this book, as he is also the host of a news quiz that is near and dear to our hearts.
Hence, my struggle.
The photo to the left is of a nice little illustration that appeared throughout the book -- one thing that you don't get in Kindle books is little dingbats like this one, which appeared at the top right of every recto page and the lower left of every verso page. Click through to see it in more detail -- it's a pretty little thing and I enjoyed it throughout the book.
And that, my friend, is the most positive thing I can say about this book. Read on for less joy...
The subtitle of this book is: "Naughty Things and How to Do Them," but should have been: "Naughty Things and How to Observe and Judge Them." Ooof. What could have been a fascinating read devolved into the author peering into the lives of a wide variety of people with his hand dramatically covering his mouth, which was arranged prissily into the shape of an O.
For instance, he and his wife go to a swingers' club just to observe. That is, not swing. You know, hang out, maybe ask some questions, take a look around and just check the place out. He writes: "I looked at Beth; she at me. And we realized, as we gazed into each other's familiar faces, in this unfamiliar place, with its exotic promises of sexual excess being fulfilled in thin-walled rooms all around us, not only that were we the most boring people in the club, we were the most bored."  You know, he could have ended the sentence at "club." The last part just made me want to smack him -- ya know why you were bored at a swingers' club, dude? Cause, ah... you weren't swinging!
And on and on it goes like this, through gambling, lying, gluttony, strippers, and porn. The stripper chapter takes an especially nasty turn when he tries to "educate" strippers at the end of it on how to make things work for the customers -- you know, advice on how to really improve their acts and make the fans go wild. It just smacked of condescension. I can't even type it here, because it just made me angry re-reading it.
When I am reading books that I am going to review, I like to make notes -- either dog-ear the pages (sorry!) or use little Post-its. Early on in this book, I found myself marking a few particularly funny places (especially the foot-notes, some of which made me laugh out loud). Increasingly, I found myself marking all of the places where I thought, "Wow. What a douche." I am not actually going to share every one of those passages with you. I will let the photograph to the right speak for itself.
I am glad I finished this book, although I really did want to hurl it against the wall several times. In the afterward, he almost admits to his judgmental douchery, which almost redeems some of the earlier BS. But, you know, it could have come in a lot sooner.
I am going to choose to imagine that the author of this book is not the same person as the host of the much beloved news quiz because I don't want to have to stop listening to it.
In fact, I really didn't hear much of his "voice" while reading this book at all, which I had expected. I have been actually listening to his voice for over a decade, so it's strange to me that it didn't come through here. Maybe he has an evil twin? Let's just go with that and be done with it.
On to November's book! (Only a few weeks late, but... who's counting?)