Posted tagged ‘Weekend At Burnies’

Review: More Information Than You Require

May 20, 2009

It absolutely amazes me that I could be the exact target audience for a book.  And by that I mean a Jonathan Coulton/They Might Be Giants listening, Battlestar Galactica obsessed, Loren Coleman fan, with a decent grasp of US history, and ties to the outer edges of Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley.  OK, I guess that actually describes everyone who hangs out on Doombot, but you’ve gotta admit that’s fairly specific.

Anyway, John Hodgeman’s second book of fake knowledge is a great improvement over the still brilliant original.  The joke mostly remains the same, Hodgeman rattles off absurdities with an amazingly authoritative voice, and then finishes up with a list of 700 silly names (with molemen replacing the Hobos of the first book).  Many of these jokes have just enough ties to reality (i.e. Weekend At Burnies was inspired by United Artists filming a Pink Panther movie with the corpse of Peter Sellers) to make you momentarily question reality.  It’s a great shtick, and it’s amazing just how well Hodgman is able to pull it off throughout the book.

This is maybe the greatest bathroom book I’ve ever read, something you can pick up for 2 minutes and come back to later.  However, that’s also why it took me 6 months to finish, which is something I’m not terribly proud of.

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